Red Shoes Billiards

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For South Siders, this is the place to play pool, one of the best rooms in the Midwest. "When the good pool players come through town they head this way," says owner John Lavin, a recognized Billiards Congress of America instructor. "There's plenty of action for any level of players." By "action," well, serious pool players know what he means. In addition to the 18 Brunswick tables, Red Shoes has a 12-foot English snooker table and a 10-foot, three-cushion Carom table for players whose finesse exceeds 8-ball. Lavin prides his 6,000-square-foot room on its cues and equipment, everything from the tables and lighting to the cue balls themselves. Red Shoes hosts weekly tournaments (there is a separate four-table "tournament" area) and group and individual lessons for children as young as 9 up to seniors; the clientele is a mix of old and young, male and female. Cost is $6 an hour for two people. The atmosphere is somewhat formal, with leather furniture, indirect lighting and plenty of space between tables. But no liquor!