Fans of billiards/snooker/pool/8-ball — or any other variety of the game which involves hitting variously coloured balls across a chunk of felt into one of six pockets — will be pleased to hear that a big club has opened near Xujiahui, with two enormous floors full of shiny new tables and cues.
The slightly seamy-sounding Deep Blue Snooker Club (or is the name an homage to IBM?) near the corner of Wulumuqi Nan Lu and Zhaojiabang Lu is hard to miss: there’s a huge sign outside the club and a poster on the laneway leading to the front entrance featuring a bunch of the world’s best snooker players (Stephen Hendry, Steve Davis et al) walking down a street in black suits and ties, Reservoir Dogs style.
More than a dozen, brand new, blue velvet pool tables can be found downstairs, while upstairs is a similarly large hall of snooker tables (the bigger ones). Both levels have racks of excellent cues, and lockers for any players who might think they’re good enough to warrant owning their own equipment. Not Shanghaiist, that’s for sure.
The playing process is simple: walk in, choose a table (as you can see by the photo, business so far is a bit grim, so you’ll have your pick of them) and from there it’s 45 RMB per hour, everything included. Cold cans of beer are around five kuai a pop, and will be fetched by the young waitress who — slightly annoyingly — stands next to your table for the duration of your stay, watching every game. A bit embarrassing if — like us — you manage to dig a chunk of material out of the surface attempting a jump shot.
The best way to combat her unrelenting presence is to keep sending her to fetch beers. This is an entirely appropriate thing to do, since pool is a drinkers’ game. What was it that a commentator said about former world champ Alex Higgins? “Someone threw a petrol bomb at him once and he drank it.”
Deep Blue Snooker Club: 205 Wulumuqi Nan Lu, near Zhaojiabang Lu.