Clean Billiards Square
By Courtney Donovan Smith Translated by Ann Lee
Photos by Andy Lin
179, FuXing N Rd, 2F
Hours: 9 am-5 am
MRT: NanJing E Rd
No service charge. Credit cards not accepted.
Signs in Chinese & English.
Smoking area available.
For entertainment, most go out to the standard KTV, pub or disco--but why not try something else? Featuring Hip Hop and R&B music (played at reasonable levels) and a DJ on Friday nights, this is an attractive alternative to playing pool at a pub. The pool tables are of high quality and the balls are very high-end Belgian super aramith Pro 'TV Pro-Cup'. This allows for a quality game, no warped pub-style cues or tables here.
This quality makes it a popular hang-out for professional pool players and those who like a quality game. Indeed, owner Kemic has some impressive trophies of his own, though he does not describe himself as a professional. Competitions are sometimes held here. Clean is also popular with professionals in the neighbourhood and foreigners.
Unlike most pool halls, this spot is specifically legally registered as a pool hall, rather than a game parlour. This means none of those loud, annoying video game machines plague this place. Also unusual is that this hall is not located in a basement, but has plenty of windows that lend a cheerful, bright and clean feeling. The decor is based on the name, and is done tastefully in reds and greys and the women's bathroom even features sofas. The air filters are also especially strong. There is none of the 'gangsterish' feeling that infuses so many of the lower-end establishments.
Regular (though still high quality) tables are charged at NT$3 per minute, while the high-end tables are NT$4 per minute. The high-end tables feature TVs and seating of up to 20 on comfortable sofas, while the lower-end tables have the same sofas but less seating. Discounts are available for students (20%), people with business cards located in the neighbourhood (10%) and foreigners (10%). Mocha and espresso are available for NT$20, and beer will set you back NT$50--but if you don't enjoy their brand selection you can bring your own beer. There is a free waiting area with tables and chairs, and free wireless. Cue maintenance services are also available.