Bangarang is a cocktail bar that centres around obscure billiards games. The name of the bar is a reference to the movie Hook (other little homages are apparently peppered throughout the space) and not, as the team takes pains to point out, the Skrillex song.
It’s run by the same people behind such similar concepts as Track & Field: Nickie Minshall, Dustin Keating, Jesse Borg and Tasha Potter.
They designed and handcrafted this bar that used to house The Midtown basically from the ground up, including all games and 8-foot glass enclosures containing real plants.
Near the front there’s a game called sjoelen. A complicated set of rules involving sliding thirty wooden pucks across a table into narrow slots is attached to a clipboard that accompanies all billiards, but simpler rules are scrawled in chalk on an adjacent scoreboard.
Cornhole is something pretty much anyone can tackle, even drunkenly eschewing the rules and just attempting to get a red or blue bean bag into a hole in a board at the opposite end of one of two twenty-foot, astroturf-covered lanes.
Offerings near the back are more like blown-up versions of smaller board games like Rebound. This one is fantastically frustrating, with small bouncy balls flung at elastic bands at the other end of a U-shaped board.
Cocktails on tap ($10) guarantee complex and upscale beverages quick so you can get back to your game.
The Old Kanye is a sweet and fruity mix of lime, pineapple, Campari, rum, apricot, and a slightly spicy note of chai. “The name was inspired by ‘I Miss The Old Kanye,’” says Jesse Borg, “as well as missing a simpler time when Kanye was just a lovable narcissist.”
The mezcal margarita ($14) adds pepper and smoke to a classic by incorporating mezcal in with the typical tequila, agave, lime and a heavy salt rim.
An old fashioned ($14) provides another slight spin on an old standby, made with lightly toasted coconut flavoured Monkey Shoulder scotch, maple syrup, and house bitters.
Seasonal rotations are likely to take place, with a new feature cocktail available on the regular.
Drink options are plentiful here, with other choices including local beer on tap, in tall or short cans, and rotating bottles, wine, and bubbles.
Simple snacks are limited to pepperettes and chips, but you're totally welcome to bring in or order outside food from the many great places in surrounding Little Italy.
Can you say fried chicken from PG Cluck’s, Moet Chandon and cornhole? Yes please.
Billiards are all free of charge, but you might have to make a lane reservation for a busy night.