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View Full Version : NYC area members - Pool Room needs/needed?


pooltime
03-09-2005, 08:40 PM
I've seen mentioned in a couple of posts of the old Chelsea Billiards - what a room NYC once had. 55 tables (if I can remember correctly), packed all the time and action 24 hours a day for all levels. That place also saw anyone and everyone who was at some point in time. If you arrived in NYC to gamble - that's where you went.

Anyway, I took a break from pool from 1997 to 2003. In getting back into pool again, I've recently been over to Amsterdam a bunch and they seem to do quite a business - waiting lists most nights I've been in there. Several very good players also and a nice looking room at that.

My question - are most of the NY clubs doing real strong business? I cannot speak about the other rooms, maybe some members could shed some light. Also, is there an area/section of the NYC area that needs an upscale room - ie Tribeca, Upper East Side (now that the other Amsterdam closed), Williamsburg, Dumbo, etc.

Also, could another Chelsea ever be reborn in a new room in NYC? When you come across some of the old Chelsea players they talk about the room like it was the 'golden era'. I'm just happy I was around to experience that room on occasion.

NYC players - what do you think is missing in pool in our area? And missing in our pool rooms in general?

Maybe by being away for some time and now getting back in, I see the change in the landscape much more pronounced. I miss the history and stories that came from rooms like Chelsea and I guess I was just curious what others felt and if an area in NYC is ripe for a room like those older places.

justabrake
03-10-2005, 03:49 AM
HI-Ian, if you go to=

http://www.billiardsdigest.com/ccboard/postlist.php?Cat=&Board=ccb

and do a (search) for amsterdam east newer then 1 year you'll know more about what people wanted in a poolroom,



amsterdam east was making $30,000 a month and just breaking even thats why they never reopened it again and the place is still available today

SSach
03-10-2005, 06:48 AM
Pool time,

I am from the area, but got into pool a little late to get to hang out at Chelsea Billiards. I have also heard the stories and would love to see a place with non stop action.

But the problem with the NYC Metro area is cost.... Pool Players in general are Cheap. When rooms charge $10+ and hour in this area and are trying to cater to the "players" there is a lose lose situation (IMHO). What would work is finding a place where the majority of the revenue generated would not come directly from table time, but other areas (food, drinks, cues...etc) or offering combos such as 1 hr table tme and a pitcher of beer for $XX.... for some reason a player will not spend $5/hr to play pool, but will spend $5-7 a beer in this area (LOL)

And after writing all this I realized one other downfall in NYC ... no smoking... and while I don't smoke a majority of the players do and there have been many threads about how pool rooms have had to close because of the ban....

Roscoe
03-10-2005, 08:17 AM
I used to play at Chelsea all the time. Was a great place. Even had 6 x 12's

http://www.priveye.com/pool/chelsea.jpg

Roscoe

MrLucky
03-10-2005, 08:29 AM
I owned 3 night clubs in NYC and Queens in the '70s and I can certainly see why Chelsea did not reopen ! the cost of doing business in NYC or greater NY in general is outrageous! I would love to come back to NY and do something with Pool but its just too expensive and risky! :(

mscue
03-10-2005, 09:21 AM
I owned 3 night clubs in NYC and Queens in the '70s and I can certainly see why Chelsea did not reopen ! the cost of doing business in NYC or greater NY in general is outrageous! I would love to come back to NY and do something with Pool but its just too expensive and risky! :(


Actually Chelsea did reopen and they are now Slate.. the worst excuse for a pool room if there ever was one. It is more of a nightclub than a pool room. I heard recently that Slate is struggling to maintain it's overhead and they charge $17/hr +. needless to say it's no longer a pool players room.

Jude Rosenstock
03-10-2005, 09:33 AM
HI-Ian, if you go to=

http://www.billiardsdigest.com/ccboard/postlist.php?Cat=&Board=ccb

and do a (search) for amsterdam east newer then 1 year you'll know more about what people wanted in a poolroom,



amsterdam east was making $30,000 a month and just breaking even thats why they never reopened it again and the place is still available today

Amsterdam's closing is a bit more complicated than that and 30K a month is not accurate. Honestly, the landlord put the club in a bind. They were performing a lot of construction which was having a dramatic affect on business and was going to continue to have an affect. The owners did their best to negotiate a compromise and did everything they could to try and protect their business but the landlord seemed to have an apathetic attitude about their tenants. Last winter, it was 60 degrees inside the club. Last Spring, there was a flood. During the black-out, we didn't have power restored until hours after the rest of the city was back up and running. The problems were endless and that's not even mentioning the dust, debris, and noise the patrons had to endure on a regular basis because they were adding floors to the building.

That space is empty after a year because anybody who does their homework will run in the opposite direction.

Jude Rosenstock
03-10-2005, 09:47 AM
Actually Chelsea did reopen and they are now Slate.. the worst excuse for a pool room if there ever was one. It is more of a nightclub than a pool room. I heard recently that Slate is struggling to maintain it's overhead and they charge $17/hr +. needless to say it's no longer a pool players room.



Actually, Chelsea closed. There is nothing in that room that even vaguely resembles Chelsea Billiards. The snooker tables are now couches. The Crown III's are now in Queens and there's a big goddamn hole in the floor the moment you walk in. I haven't even begun to mention that nobody in that room can run more than 3 balls. Put simply, they're not a poolroom. They're not even on the map. You can throw Pressure & Q Lounge on that list and the entire Slate Corporation.

BTW, they had 53 tables. 43 pooltables, 8 snooker tables and 2 billiard tables. Two floors with more clearance than anyone will ever see again in a Manhattan poolroom.


If you really want to know why pool is on the decline in New York City, look no further than the economy and the real estate market. In case any of you forgot, alcohol was illegal to sell in a poolroom until recently yet pool still thrived in the better neighborhoods throughout the city. The only way to have a successful room is to have a killer lease. I mean think about it. Amsterdam East was 15,000 sq. ft. and had 33 tables (including Ping-Pong). If you had 4 people on each table, that's 132 paying customers, not including what you have at the bar. For a space that large, that's a small number of people. The fact is, pool is inherently a poor money-maker when you look at it as dollars per square foot. Any 5,000 sqft club in the city is going to run circles around the poshest poolrooms. The only way to be successful is to get a bargain lease that makes rent a non-factor. In Manhattan, that's very hard to do.

BackPocket9Ball
03-10-2005, 10:48 AM
Well-put post, Jude. I sent you a pm.

lewdo26
03-10-2005, 01:03 PM
It's interesting that a good number of poolhalls in the 5 boroughs get a lot of customers. However, as others have mentioned, that does not mean these establishments are making good money, due to the sheer corruption of the New York real estate market.

The way I see it, two types of poolhalls exist in New York. Yuppie poolhalls, and ghetto poolhalls. None of which I enjoy. Real lovers of the game end up squeezed in between the abnoxiousness of these two scenes. What is missing, of course, is a poolplayer's poolhall. One that has good equipment, no music, 24hrs., etc. In sum, a poolhall that does not do extra things to attract the party crowd.

Aside from cost, I would also mention New York's newfound puritanism as a reason why it seems inhospitable to a lot of players. If you can't gamble, smoke, or practice because the yuppies yell at the top of their lungs everytime they make (or miss) a hanger, just what exactly can you do?

Unfortunately, if one is looking for a genuine pool culture, he'd have to take a hike south or westwards. Something like Chelsea Billiards, as others have described it, seems to me to be exactly what this city needs. But New Yorkers tend to be more concerned with dress and running up their credit cards. Because of that, I'd be tremendously surprised (though pleasantly so) if a poolhall is opened that originates a pool scene with teeth.

justabrake
03-10-2005, 08:23 PM
Amsterdam's closing is a bit more complicated than that and 30K a month is not accurate. Honestly, the landlord put the club in a bind. They were performing a lot of construction which was having a dramatic affect on business and was going to continue to have an affect. The owners did their best to negotiate a compromise and did everything they could to try and protect their business but the landlord seemed to have an apathetic attitude about their tenants. Last winter, it was 60 degrees inside the club. Last Spring, there was a flood. During the black-out, we didn't have power restored until hours after the rest of the city was back up and running. The problems were endless and that's not even mentioning the dust, debris, and noise the patrons had to endure on a regular basis because they were adding floors to the building.

That space is empty after a year because anybody who does their homework will run in the opposite direction.

"where do you think I got the $30,000"

$30,000 just didn't pop into my head when I posted it over at billiardsdigest it was told to me by Chris Lynch who is a league organizer and a pool instructor and possibly manager (but i'm not sure on that) but this is how I was told = I jointed the league and a week later they annouce that the east was closing and we could get a refund or play at the west so I said I would play at the west and I got to talking to Chris Lynch and he told me the problem about the oners of the building that they wanted to add on a couple of stories to it and that it would interfere with the basement because they would have to reinforec it for the extra work load and I said will the fight it in court and he said the owners of amsterdam didn't want to go that far because because of legal fees and time and they were only breaking out even and not making any money so he said they decided to let it go without a fight and so he told me to run it and and pay the rent was $30,000 a month ,

this I didn't pull out of a hat this is what he said to me whether it's correct or not that is the information I had recieved and that is the truth now Jude says she was the bookkeeper so she should know the truth , we had our little emails about this and whether she is correct or Chris Lynch is,

THE TRUTH IS "I DON"T CARE ONE BIT" :D


""there was a flood"" BIG DEAL :) :) :)
my company dose work for pizzaria uno and they were above the poolroom and they sent some of my buddies in to do the work there and they said that the poolroom got some damage but it wasn't that bad and they were out of there in a few days doing sheetrock, so she makes it sound like it was the end , things happen leaks do accure especially in the winter we thrive on leaks mostly plumbers I may say. just like tow truck drivers in the rain and snow

Steven

MrLucky
03-11-2005, 06:16 AM
Actually, Chelsea closed. There is nothing in that room that even vaguely resembles Chelsea Billiards. The snooker tables are now couches. The Crown III's are now in Queens and there's a big goddamn hole in the floor the moment you walk in. I haven't even begun to mention that nobody in that room can run more than 3 balls. Put simply, they're not a poolroom. They're not even on the map. You can throw Pressure & Q Lounge on that list and the entire Slate Corporation.

BTW, they had 53 tables. 43 pooltables, 8 snooker tables and 2 billiard tables. Two floors with more clearance than anyone will ever see again in a Manhattan poolroom.


If you really want to know why pool is on the decline in New York City, look no further than the economy and the real estate market. In case any of you forgot, alcohol was illegal to sell in a poolroom until recently yet pool still thrived in the better neighborhoods throughout the city. The only way to have a successful room is to have a killer lease. I mean think about it. Amsterdam East was 15,000 sq. ft. and had 33 tables (including Ping-Pong). If you had 4 people on each table, that's 132 paying customers, not including what you have at the bar. For a space that large, that's a small number of people. The fact is, pool is inherently a poor money-maker when you look at it as dollars per square foot. Any 5,000 sqft club in the city is going to run circles around the poshest poolrooms. The only way to be successful is to get a bargain lease that makes rent a non-factor. In Manhattan, that's very hard to do.
My point exactly! doing business in NYC for a lot of reasons is extremely difficult! I would not want to try something with the revenue restrictions of a Pool Room ! We had enough challenges with Night Clubs!

bruin70
03-11-2005, 06:46 AM
corner billiards does well because the owner also owns the building.

what is missing from pool in nyc?,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,competition vs amsterdam billiards. they lord over the area with arrogant disregard for their regulars.

should you contemplate opening another room? NO...the landscape has changed and rent will ALWAYS be cost prohibitive. (avoiding rent is why corner billiards will always be around) manhattan has become a totally upscale, high maintenance area. poolrooms have gone elsewhere to survive,,,ie mainly queens. manhattan rooms are now lounge-poolroom-high$ "scenes".

i can't see any of the lesser rooms in manhattan renewing their lease. old businesses(all kinds) are giving way to new boutique shops and megastores because of the high rent

BackPocket9Ball
03-11-2005, 07:30 AM
The way I see it, two types of poolhalls exist in New York. Yuppie poolhalls, and ghetto poolhalls. None of which I enjoy. Real lovers of the game end up squeezed in between the abnoxiousness of these two scenes. What is missing, of course, is a poolplayer's poolhall. One that has good equipment, no music, 24hrs., etc. In sum, a poolhall that does not do extra things to attract the party crowd.

How can you possibly say that a "poolplayer's poolhall" is missing in New York? Master Billiards on Queens Blvd is open 24 hours, has good equipment (tight tables, billiard tables, snooker tables), doesn't have loud music, has plenty of open tournaments, and has tons of action in all pool games, and most certainly does not attract a party crowd. In addition, it is by no means a "ghetto room", either.

I find it hard to believe that you are a hard-core player/gambler in NYC if you don't play there.

td873
03-11-2005, 07:36 AM
It's economics. Pool rooms don't make enough money on table time. The owners have figured out that players spending 10 bucks an hour for 2 hours is not as lucrative as 4 yuppies running up a $200 bar tab in 2 hours + the table time. The yuppies like loud music and good times, and really don't give a second thought to having an Aramith cue ball or Simonis 860.

I don't think there is an easy solution to the problem as it stands in NYC. With astronimical rents, the owners have to focus on their bottom line first, and then the players. One byproduct is that the best time for the players to play is during daylight hours. Unfortunately, most j*bs are during daylight hours...

IMO, the best pool hall for players in NYC is Racks (in Astoria). Too bad it isn't in a prime location, or easy to get to from Manhattan. As a backup, I give Corner Billiards a thumbs up (despite their mediocre attempt at finding the middle ground between a bar with tables and a poolhall with a bar...)

-td

justabrake
03-11-2005, 08:10 AM
How can you possibly say that a "poolplayer's poolhall" is missing in New York? Master Billiards on Queens Blvd is open 24 hours, has good equipment (tight tables, billiard tables, snooker tables), doesn't have loud music, has plenty of open tournaments, and has tons of action in all pool games, and most certainly does not attract a party crowd. In addition, it is by no means a "ghetto room", either.

I find it hard to believe that you are a hard-core player/gambler in NYC if you don't play there.


It is a nice place and does have all the tables and I lik there hours but I won't shoot pool where people smoke in the lobby and the smoke pours in the room and other times that I went there I found people smoking in the room itself I said to the owner "I thought smoking was prohibited and he said it was and I said to him well that guys smoking in the back and he just said nothing ,so much for the NYS laws in that room , to me thats risking his buisness lic. and fines and has no respect for other players

IMO

BackPocket9Ball
03-11-2005, 09:20 AM
It is a nice place and does have all the tables and I lik there hours but I won't shoot pool where people smoke in the lobby and the smoke pours in the room and other times that I went there I found people smoking in the room itself I said to the owner "I thought smoking was prohibited and he said it was and I said to him well that guys smoking in the back and he just said nothing ,so much for the NYS laws in that room , to me thats risking his buisness lic. and fines and has no respect for other players

IMO

Yes, the players smoke in the lobby, but the lobby has glass doors on both sides and the door to the outside is usually open. Players also smoke after 2am. I've never seen people smoke there before 2am in the room itself.

Your argument is equivalent to saying that you won't eat in restaurants with smoking sections even if you're in the non-smoking section because a little bit of the smoke permeates the non-smoking section.

All this aside, who cares? I'm not a smoker, but it won't prevent me from playing pool. What did you do before the smoking ban in NYC? So you're telling me that the only states that you'd be willing to shoot pool in are NY, FL, DE, CA, and MA?

I'm assuming you started playing pool before smoking bans existed.

justabrake
03-11-2005, 09:40 AM
Yes, the players smoke in the lobby, but the lobby has glass doors on both sides and the door to the outside is usually open. Players also smoke after 2am. I've never seen people smoke there before 2am in the room itself.

Your argument is equivalent to saying that you won't eat in restaurants with smoking sections even if you're in the non-smoking section because a little bit of the smoke permeates the non-smoking section.

All this aside, who cares? I'm not a smoker, but it won't prevent me from playing pool. What did you do before the smoking ban in NYC? So you're telling me that the only states that you'd be willing to shoot pool in are NY, FL, DE, CA, and MA?

I'm assuming you started playing pool before smoking bans existed.


I use play when I was in school and smoked also then I gave up both and only started playing again a couple of years ago and when I did play I would play in closed off sections for non smokers and now with the law passed i'm much happier then ever i'm back playing again, but saying that your right I won't play where smoke will be pressent now and (I DON"T HAVE TO) I won't support a poolrooms rent when there indagering my health.

Jude Rosenstock
03-11-2005, 09:54 AM
"where do you think I got the $30,000"

$30,000 just didn't pop into my head when I posted it over at billiardsdigest it was told to me by Chris Lynch who is a league organizer and a pool instructor and possibly manager (but i'm not sure on that) but this is how I was told = I jointed the league and a week later they annouce that the east was closing and we could get a refund or play at the west so I said I would play at the west and I got to talking to Chris Lynch and he told me the problem about the oners of the building that they wanted to add on a couple of stories to it and that it would interfere with the basement because they would have to reinforec it for the extra work load and I said will the fight it in court and he said the owners of amsterdam didn't want to go that far because because of legal fees and time and they were only breaking out even and not making any money so he said they decided to let it go without a fight and so he told me to run it and and pay the rent was $30,000 a month ,

this I didn't pull out of a hat this is what he said to me whether it's correct or not that is the information I had recieved and that is the truth now Jude says she was the bookkeeper so she should know the truth , we had our little emails about this and whether she is correct or Chris Lynch is,

THE TRUTH IS "I DON"T CARE ONE BIT" :D


""there was a flood"" BIG DEAL :) :) :)
my company dose work for pizzaria uno and they were above the poolroom and they sent some of my buddies in to do the work there and they said that the poolroom got some damage but it wasn't that bad and they were out of there in a few days doing sheetrock, so she makes it sound like it was the end , things happen leaks do accure especially in the winter we thrive on leaks mostly plumbers I may say. just like tow truck drivers in the rain and snow

Steven


Firstly, I'm a "he". "Jude" is a guy's name (see Beatles "Hey Jude" or Jude Law). Secondly, Pizzeria Uno's is next door. The movie theatre is next to us. You may be speaking of a different event. By no means was that the straw that broke the Camel's back. It was an episode I pointed out that illustrated the landlord's apathy to a business that really wanted to stay at that location. There was CONSTANT construction (this had nothing to do with Uno's since they're in another building), the heating rarely worked in the winter and our customers were constantly complaining.

As for your figure, I'd like to point out that Amsterdam Billiards employed 4 managers, a full wait staff and two porters. The figure you pointed out simply doesn't cover that when you include typical rent for an establishment of that size and location. I'm not going to get into details. What Chris told you was not something he intended to have posted on azbilliards and it's something he's not happy about (I spoke about this with him yesterday). I simply would like to say that your figures are wrong and those that I spoke with at the club are not happy that something like this would be discussed on az. Out of respect for a private business, I simply ask that this talk cease immediately. I am not going to disclose the details other than to state that although the billiard industry is suffering in New York City, it isn't suffering to that extent.

justabrake
03-11-2005, 10:09 AM
Firstly, I'm a "he". "Jude" is a guy's name (see Beatles "Hey Jude" or Jude Law). Secondly, Pizzeria Uno's is next door. The movie theatre is next to us. You may be speaking of a different event. By no means was that the straw that broke the Camel's back. It was an episode I pointed out that illustrated the landlord's apathy to a business that really wanted to stay at that location. There was CONSTANT construction (this had nothing to do with Uno's since they're in another building), the heating rarely worked in the winter and our customers were constantly complaining.

As for your figure, I'd like to point out that Amsterdam Billiards employed 4 managers, a full wait staff and two porters. The figure you pointed out simply doesn't cover that when you include typical rent for an establishment of that size and location. I'm not going to get into details. What Chris told you was not something he intended to have posted on azbilliards and it's something he's not happy about (I spoke about this with him yesterday). I simply would like to say that your figures are wrong and those that I spoke with at the club are not happy that something like this would be discussed on az. Out of respect for a private business, I simply ask that this talk cease immediately. I am not going to disclose the details other than to state that although the billiard industry is suffering in New York City, it isn't suffering to that extent.

case closed Thanks

Roscoe
03-11-2005, 10:25 AM
Boy, am I glad I live in Jersey..

Fuggedaboudit,
Roscoe

pooltime
03-11-2005, 11:26 AM
First off, it sucks how this post went off on this tangent. I never started this tread to get people speaking about other room's financial statements or to concentrate on the reasons behind the closing of Amsterdam East. This was never about 1 room and for the record I think the Amsterdam people run a great place on the westside and I'm very happy I started going there. There are many rooms around me and I drive in from Brooklyn to shoot there a couple of times a week.

This thread was more to be about how I've seen the landscape change by being away from it for a bit and how rooms like Chelsea were missed. Also to see and get opinions if a room like that could ever exist in NYC again the way the City is structured now.

This was also a post for NYC members to express what was missing from NY pool and why and what they thought could change for the better. I've been around this game since I was a kid and just needed to take a break from it while I started my own business. This is a great game and one that most do not realize how much skill is involved. It is an unbelievable achievement to play great pool.

Jude you nailed a couple of points here: 1) Slate IS more of a nightclub and just seems like they forgot to remove the pool tables. It is an interesting concept, but it is definitely not for a player - they want that yuppie drinker. 2) A bar/lounge will run circles around a pool room with only 1/2 to 1/4 of the space. It's funny how a player might complain about spending $25 on pool for several hours, but not have a problem knocking down $10 specialty martinis at the "IN" lounge and drop a C-note in less time. Jude I've seen you a couple of times in Amsterdam and next time I will introduce myself.

As mentioned the real estate has gone thru the roof in NYC. About 3 years ago I had a pipe dream of opening one of these bar/lounges in Tribeca and for 2500-3000 sq.ft the rents were between $11,000 and $15,000 a month (plus some of these places wanted 3-6 months security). So you can only image what a pool room has to deal with needing 3 times that space and having 80% of the space taken up by tables and not people.

Anyway, a lot of good stuff here, too bad it went off the path a bit. Remember we're all on this board because we enjoy this game enough to waste our work time posting about pool. :D

Jude Rosenstock
03-11-2005, 12:09 PM
It's economics. Pool rooms don't make enough money on table time. The owners have figured out that players spending 10 bucks an hour for 2 hours is not as lucrative as 4 yuppies running up a $200 bar tab in 2 hours + the table time. The yuppies like loud music and good times, and really don't give a second thought to having an Aramith cue ball or Simonis 860.

I don't think there is an easy solution to the problem as it stands in NYC. With astronimical rents, the owners have to focus on their bottom line first, and then the players. One byproduct is that the best time for the players to play is during daylight hours. Unfortunately, most j*bs are during daylight hours...

IMO, the best pool hall for players in NYC is Racks (in Astoria). Too bad it isn't in a prime location, or easy to get to from Manhattan. As a backup, I give Corner Billiards a thumbs up (despite their mediocre attempt at finding the middle ground between a bar with tables and a poolhall with a bar...)

-td


I like Racks and yes, it's way out in the middle of nowhere. Corner Billiards simply lacks anything resembling specials. Their "free hour after 8" is simply not worth it when you consider what the hourly rate is.

Amsterdam's powerplays are just ridiculously cheap. Of course, during their primetime hours (Fri & Sat. night), the Powerplays aren't quite as good but if you play during the early/late hours, you're stealing. Sunday afternoon you can play from 11am to 6pm for $29. It simply doesn't get any cheaper in NYC.

Really, I beg to differ that Amsterdam holds the regular in total disregard. The owners play pool (they're actually quite good) and have always shown an interest in professional and amateur pool. They host events (local & national) and sponsor players (professional & amateur). They also purchased 30 new Crown IV's just to accommodate their serious players when the eastside closed. Their a diverse business that caters to the broadest range of clients. No other poolroom can say the same and frankly, there's no other room I'd rather play in.

If you're willing to go to Queens, you'll be surprised to know that the scene is still there. Masters & Racks have both been mentioned but Carom Cafe is tops on my "if you're willing to travel" list. Let's not also forget to mention Spin City that maintains a clean and respectable place and Steinway & Olympia Billiards in Astoria. All of these rooms routinely have tournaments and do what they can to accommodate the serious poolplayer.

bruin70
03-11-2005, 01:23 PM
How can you possibly say that a "poolplayer's poolhall" is missing in New York? Master Billiards on Queens Blvd.

because everything outside of manhattan(aka new york city) is another country!! :):):)

bruin70
03-11-2005, 01:25 PM
It's economics. Pool rooms don't make enough money on table time. The owners have figured out that players spending 10 bucks an hour for 2 hours is not as lucrative as 4 yuppies running up a $200 bar tab in 2 hours + the table time. The yuppies like loud music and good times, and really don't give a second thought to having an Aramith cue ball or Simonis 860.

I don't think there is an easy solution to the problem as it stands in NYC. With astronimical rents, the owners have to focus on their bottom line first, and then the players. One byproduct is that the best time for the players to play is during daylight hours. Unfortunately, most j*bs are during daylight hours...

IMO, the best pool hall for players in NYC is Racks (in Astoria). Too bad it isn't in a prime location, or easy to get to from Manhattan. As a backup, I give Corner Billiards a thumbs up (despite their mediocre attempt at finding the middle ground between a bar with tables and a poolhall with a bar...)

-td


i was there once long ago. very very nice. location is safe and semi residential. unless you drive, you have to walk. my big complaint was that it had "slate"-type lighting,,,ie,,,too dark and yuppie-moody.

has that changed?

lewdo26
03-11-2005, 02:14 PM
How can you possibly say that a "poolplayer's poolhall" is missing in New York? Master Billiards on Queens Blvd is open 24 hours, has good equipment (tight tables, billiard tables, snooker tables), doesn't have loud music, has plenty of open tournaments, and has tons of action in all pool games, and most certainly does not attract a party crowd. In addition, it is by no means a "ghetto room", either.

I find it hard to believe that you are a hard-core player/gambler in NYC if you don't play there.
BP9B, as I've stated before on this forum, I do think Master is the most undiluted poolhall in this city. Pool culture in New York has moved to Queens. So we're in agreement on that. I doubt, however, that Master would compare to the Chelsea Billiards of old.

I also wanted to say that maybe my previous post was a little too jaded. Amsterdam Billiards is a great place, where I've met some wonderful people and frequently get to see top flight pool and play on good equipment. That being said, I cannot pretend that the nightclub element doesn't annoy me. I'm also not much on the idea of "clean", upscale poolhalls where gambling is close to non-existent. Not because I'm "a hard-core player/gambler", but because I think where you've found gambling, you've found an undiluted poolplayer's poolhall.

Jude Rosenstock
03-11-2005, 02:22 PM
BP9B, as I've stated before on this forum, I do think Master is the most undiluted poolhall in this city. Pool culture in New York has moved to Queens. So we're in agreement on that. I doubt, however, that Master would compare to the Chelsea Billiards of old.

I also wanted to say that maybe my previous post was a little too jaded. Amsterdam Billiards is a great place, where I've met some wonderful people and frequently get to see top flight pool and play on good equipment. That being said, I cannot pretend that the nightclub element doesn't annoy me. I'm also not much on the idea of "clean", upscale poolhalls where gambling is close to non-existent. Not because I'm "a hard-core player/gambler", but because I think where you've found gambling, you've found an undiluted poolplayer's poolhall.


LOL, I'll be happy to help you find some gambling at Amsterdam. :cool:

Jude Rosenstock
03-11-2005, 02:27 PM
BP9B, as I've stated before on this forum, I do think Master is the most undiluted poolhall in this city. Pool culture in New York has moved to Queens. So we're in agreement on that. I doubt, however, that Master would compare to the Chelsea Billiards of old.

I also wanted to say that maybe my previous post was a little too jaded. Amsterdam Billiards is a great place, where I've met some wonderful people and frequently get to see top flight pool and play on good equipment. That being said, I cannot pretend that the nightclub element doesn't annoy me. I'm also not much on the idea of "clean", upscale poolhalls where gambling is close to non-existent. Not because I'm "a hard-core player/gambler", but because I think where you've found gambling, you've found an undiluted poolplayer's poolhall.

With all seriousness, Amsterdam does have its gambling. It's just not barked across the room like they do at Masters. It's a private matter that gets settled discreetly. It's no where near the frequency the eastside location had but it's picking up.

cheemagun
03-12-2005, 09:02 AM
Masters: wed open tournament. flaco franki jalepeno joey k the kid that works there. thurs handicap tournament. most of the action is there. prices are ok. good tables.

Racks: a BIG monday tournament. tables are not that cheap. cheaper then nyc. tabes suck. they roll towards the cushions.

i usually play in brooklyn. and these are the prices i play to practice

Hall of Fame. balukas place. 4 bucks for me to practice a hour. tables are solid. pool room is huge. i think its gold crown 1's ???? im not sure. equipment is good. cloth is not simones and its kinda slow. no real action.

i also play at this other place on 8th ave. they have a couple of gold crown 4's there. i know the owner so i get it for cheap. no action tho.

status. its 3 or 4 bucks an hour for me to practice on gold crown 4's. no real action.

and i go to bdway in nyc somtimes. gold crown 3's. 5 bucks an hour. ghetto pool hall. its nasti and you feel dirty in there. a bit of action.

lewdo26
03-12-2005, 09:28 AM
With all seriousness, Amsterdam does have its gambling. It's just not barked across the room like they do at Masters. It's a private matter that gets settled discreetly. It's no where near the frequency the eastside location had but it's picking up.
Jude, in all seriousness, I'm aware some action takes place at ABC as I've witnessed some of it. I would also guess that some of it takes place in the VIP room and escapes my attention (too bad, no rail money). Still, ABC is not exactly what we would call an action room. A great place, but not an action room. That's my only point. I would also venture to say that the action takes place discretely because it does not go with the upscale poolhall image.

sjm
03-12-2005, 06:55 PM
ABC is not exactly what we would call an action room. A great place, but not an action room. That's my only point.

And it's an accurate point, Lewdo.

As many have noted, the action scene is nearly non-existent in Manhattan. Unlike others in this thread, however, I say good riddance to the Manhattan action scene. May it remain in Queens forever.

There is no need for a "players room" in Manhattan. Such a room would cater to a group that has a long and pronounced history of being small spenders and low net-worth individuals. Several have pointed out, quite correctly, that rents are high in Manhattan and catering to those who actually spend some real money when they visit a poolroom is the only route to long-term success.

Nobody shows more skill in running a great poolroom in Manhattan than Greg Hunt, proprietor of the Amsterdam Billiard Club West. Amsterdam West is the perfect poolroom for Manhattan. Beautiful decor, a lounge, and an ambience that make being there a real treat. Also, an open bar with a big screen for sports and TVs (without sound) all over the poolroom.

Yes, there are plenty of yuppies there, but, in my opinion, they don't get in the way of the more serious players, many of whom play very well, but most of whom are happy to play just for the thrill of it. The good players don't prey on each other, and everybody seems to like everybody else. The result is a great pool playing experience and a very congenial atmosphere.

To anyone that can't live without the action, you can get to Master Billiards in Queens in fifteen minutes from Grand Central Station by taking the 7 train.

Despite the many good memories that many of us (myself included) have of the place, I'm hoping that nothing reminiscent of the old Chelsea Billiards pops up anytime soon in Manhattan.

deadstroke32
03-12-2005, 09:01 PM
And it's an accurate point, Lewdo.

As many have noted, the action scene is nearly non-existent in Manhattan. Unlike others in this thread, however, I say good riddance to the Manhattan action scene. May it remain in Queens forever.

There is no need for a "players room" in Manhattan. Such a room would cater to a group that has a long and pronounced history of being small spenders and low net-worth individuals. Several have pointed out, quite correctly, that rents are high in Manhattan and catering to those who actually spend some real money when they visit a poolroom is the only route to long-term success.

Nobody shows more skill in running a great poolroom in Manhattan than Greg Hunt, proprietor of the Amsterdam Billiard Club West. Amsterdam West is the perfect poolroom for Manhattan. Beautiful decor, a lounge, and an ambience that make being there a real treat. Also, an open bar with a big screen for sports and TVs (without sound) all over the poolroom.

Yes, there are plenty of yuppies there, but, in my opinion, they don't get in the way of the more serious players, many of whom play very well, but most of whom are happy to play just for the thrill of it. The good players don't prey on each other, and everybody seems to like everybody else. The result is a great pool playing experience and a very congenial atmosphere.

To anyone that can't live without the action, you can get to Master Billiards in Queens in fifteen minutes from Grand Central Station by taking the 7 train.

Despite the many good memories that many of us (myself included) have of the place, I'm hoping that nothing reminiscent of the old Chelsea Billiards pops up anytime soon in Manhattan.

I'm from NYC and i'll tell u this, I miss home jus cause the action was sick .Make a Game and play .Chelsa was a Jam up room .I played the tourments and gamble a little ,But anytime of the day or nite there was action .So u can never find a better room then that ..Now ABC west .i was jus up there, and there was some action but nothing to call home about .i got some 14.1 action but that was all..And ( Jude) don't Call out peoples name on this .I Don't know if Chris would like his mane put into this ...But we can always ask him .Jude" u should know better.. :mad: But that cool( cause u and him r friends Right ?) .Jude hope we can play next time i come to Abc ..i'll be there in June,,Get back to me and see what we can get into.. ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ..

lewdo26
03-13-2005, 11:26 AM
As many have noted, the action scene is nearly non-existent in Manhattan. Unlike others in this thread, however, I say good riddance to the Manhattan action scene. May it remain in Queens forever.

There is no need for a "players room" in Manhattan. Such a room would cater to a group that has a long and pronounced history of being small spenders and low net-worth individuals. Several have pointed out, quite correctly, that rents are high in Manhattan and catering to those who actually spend some real money when they visit a poolroom is the only route to long-term success.

Despite the many good memories that many of us (myself included) have of the place, I'm hoping that nothing reminiscent of the old Chelsea Billiards pops up anytime soon in Manhattan.
Hey, sjm. Good to hear your input on this thread. I will only disagree with one point brought up in your post. Like you, I think ABC is the type of poolroom which will survive the Manhattan real estate market due to its ability to attract a mix of perpetual and recreational players alike (the latter group being where the money is). That's all fine and great!

However, I'm saddened by what's become of Manhattan in general... I don't think that the fact an entire borough has become an emporium for big spenders is an unqualified reason for celebration. Though, I understand, it's good for the bottom line.

That tendency has a lot to do with the reason why so many New Yorkers have become disafected from it. And, in saying good riddance to establishments like Chelsea Billiards, you are also saying good riddance to some of the people who have made New York such a colorful place throughout its history.

sjm
03-13-2005, 02:05 PM
...in saying good riddance to establishments like Chelsea Billiards, you are also saying good riddance to some of the people who have made New York such a colorful place throughout its history.

That's not really true, Lewdo.

Most of the old Chelsea crowd play at either Corner Billiards, Broadway Billiards, Master Billiards, or Amsterdam Billiards now. Most of those who often played at Chelsea are still in our midst. Also, let's not forget that the New York City action scene died long before Chelsea Billiards closed.

I do understand your lament about the fact that Manahattan has, at least to some extent, become an emporium for big spenders, though I think "emporium for big spenders willing and accustomed to paying a premium price for a premium product, service or experience" would have been more accurate.

Changing times and economic conditions have transformed and continue to transform Manahttan, but Chelsea Billiards and the culture that it represented, obsolete in Manahttan, are part of NYC nostalgia. Like so many other aspects of NYC nostaliga, it can be pleasant to reflect on. Good memories are for keeps.