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What makes a Pool hall a bar or a bar a Billiard club
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What makes a Pool hall a bar or a bar a Billiard club - 09-10-2013, 06:39 AM

How would you define a Billiard Hall? What attracts you to one place over another? Is the place where you play a bar first and a Pool hall second?

the amount of tables?
the amount of players?
the amount of action you can find?
the juke box?
the amount of TVs in the place?
the drink special?
the hot girl behind the bar serving the drinks?
the look and feel of the Bar?
Is it about the food they server?
Is it a good hang out to meet up with friends?

The reason I post this is because me and a few friends played some pool this past weekend walked into a local place and then within a half hour paid our tab walked out and went to another place. Why you ask? Well to keep the story brief The local place where we went we have played there before it's a much younger crowed (I am 39) and it had about 30 people in the place. There are 10 9ft tables nice new felt and the place is clean, so why leave? To paint a clear picture it was Sunday night and football season in full swing. The group I am with 4 of us walk in the door to the TVs blasting the game through the speakers the jukebox is on full blast and I am standing within a foot of my friend and I cant even hear what he is saying. There is maybe 12 people actually shooting pool the rest of the place is like a sports bar screaming at the TV with a Pot luck of food on the bar because the place does not serve food people smoking weed by the door and a been bag game of corn hole going on outside. WTF is going on I cant even hear myself thing is this a sports bar or a pool hall? After about 15 minutes we all just had to leave. I may be 39 but the other 3 people I am with are not and we all play on the same APA and cash leagues and all of us agreed this sucked. We go to another local pool hall walk in there is about the same number of people in the bar they have the same game on and the juke box playing but the difference is the game is on at the bar where people can sit and watch it and the juke box is on but no louder then needed the place is not as nice looking the tables 9ft but older and they also don't server food. We played past midnight I got to watch my cowboys kick the Giants ass and I walked away that night with about $30 in winnings.

Why all this rant and rave you ask, well with the down fall of the game I am wondering if it's the pool halls forgetting about the players which is why the game has taken such a turn for the worse. I understand that the place needs to make money and come up with ways to keep and bring in the customers but it would seem that the fell and look of the places from the past are gone. Maybe it's me as I am getting older and the crowed feels younger but the owners of the place are forgetting to cater to the player.

I want to know your opinion is it ok to stream the football game through the speakers and crank the jukebox like some night club on a Saturday night or am I wrong? Should the pool hall cater to the pool players if you advertise you place as a pool hall?


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09-10-2013, 08:21 AM

I have found if the main focus of the place is drinking and pool is secondary, I consider it a bar.
If pool is the main focus and drinking is secondary then I consider it a pool room.
Those two types of places draw two totally different crowds. For instance we played a tournament at a bar and my friend won it. Then they insisted he take the prize money and buy everyone that played in the tournament a beer. They said that was their custom. And a guy wanted to fight because my son gave someone else the nine ball out of courtesy. He said my son disrespected the player by not allowing him shoot. My son insisted he was paying the guy a compliment by not making him shoot an easy nine ball. Bar players do not understand serious tournament pool, and I hate playing in bars.

Rarely do serious pool players get drunk in pool rooms and start trouble.

Some places have their rooms divided to keep the pool crowd and the bar crowd separated. Those places are both under one roof and it works well also.
  
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09-10-2013, 09:11 AM

For me the main difference is equipment. A pool hall will spend money on it.
Bars are happy to let the tables go to hell.

You will have those shitty loud football or karaoke days,
even in "real" pool halls, unless you find the legendary Ames pool hall from the hustler...
no TV, no jukebox, etc. But most places, if they take care of the tables, will be fine to shoot.
You just gotta find the right days and the right hours.

If the equipment is shitty, then I could care less about the rest of the atmosphere...
I can't play serious pool and there's no point in being there.

To answer your question... "is it ok" or "should they cater to players"... generally, they should
do what makes them money so they don't go out of business like a lot of pool rooms have lately.
I sometimes feel mad when they put the players 2nd to the bar crowd, but in my heart
I can't blame them. As a business owner, I wouldn't leave behind free money.

If loud music brings in 50 people who spend $70 each, and quiet music brings in
12 people who spend $30 each, what would you do?
  
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09-10-2013, 09:17 AM

sounds like someone was at HHB for the opening night of football season
  
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09-10-2013, 09:29 AM

yes I was, I did not want to say the name because I respect the owner and the place but common really it was out of control.


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09-10-2013, 09:44 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thepip View Post
How would you define a Billiard Hall? What attracts you to one place over another? Is the place where you play a bar first and a Pool hall second?

the amount of tables?
the amount of players?
the amount of action you can find?
the juke box?
the amount of TVs in the place?
the drink special?
the hot girl behind the bar serving the drinks?
the look and feel of the Bar?
Is it about the food they server?
Is it a good hang out to meet up with friends?

The reason I post this is because me and a few friends played some pool this past weekend walked into a local place and then within a half hour paid our tab walked out and went to another place. Why you ask? Well to keep the story brief The local place where we went we have played there before it's a much younger crowed (I am 39) and it had about 30 people in the place. There are 10 9ft tables nice new felt and the place is clean, so why leave? To paint a clear picture it was Sunday night and football season in full swing. The group I am with 4 of us walk in the door to the TVs blasting the game through the speakers the jukebox is on full blast and I am standing within a foot of my friend and I cant even hear what he is saying. There is maybe 12 people actually shooting pool the rest of the place is like a sports bar screaming at the TV with a Pot luck of food on the bar because the place does not serve food people smoking weed by the door and a been bag game of corn hole going on outside. WTF is going on I cant even hear myself thing is this a sports bar or a pool hall? After about 15 minutes we all just had to leave. I may be 39 but the other 3 people I am with are not and we all play on the same APA and cash leagues and all of us agreed this sucked. We go to another local pool hall walk in there is about the same number of people in the bar they have the same game on and the juke box playing but the difference is the game is on at the bar where people can sit and watch it and the juke box is on but no louder then needed the place is not as nice looking the tables 9ft but older and they also don't server food. We played past midnight I got to watch my cowboys kick the Giants ass and I walked away that night with about $30 in winnings.

Why all this rant and rave you ask, well with the down fall of the game I am wondering if it's the pool halls forgetting about the players which is why the game has taken such a turn for the worse. I understand that the place needs to make money and come up with ways to keep and bring in the customers but it would seem that the fell and look of the places from the past are gone. Maybe it's me as I am getting older and the crowed feels younger but the owners of the place are forgetting to cater to the player.

I want to know your opinion is it ok to stream the football game through the speakers and crank the jukebox like some night club on a Saturday night or am I wrong? Should the pool hall cater to the pool players if you advertise you place as a pool hall?
This sounds like a place I, like you, would have not lingered long. I have been in some that had all kinds of side shows that were annoying as hell. I wish for the days where when you entered the pool hall, all you heard was talking and the clicking of balls, but alas I haven't been in a place like that in a very long time (probably 30 years).
  
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09-10-2013, 09:50 AM

I always liked to call my places of business 'billiard cafes'

thought that was appropriate for alcohol sales and pool together
  
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09-10-2013, 10:14 AM

I've been to many different pool halls in my life at all times of day and night. Typically, Friday and Saturday nights the pool halls are full. All of the fun seekers are out, the place is almost too crowded to concentrate, and the jukebox is blasting. Any other time, pretty much none of this is going on. The place is empty or close to it, the jukebox is quiet, and it's much easier to concentrate. Consequently, I've just about quit going to pool halls on Friday or Saturday night. Last time was with my grandson and his girlfriend a year and a half ago. Of course, with a pool table at home, I pretty much never go to a pool hall at all anymore.


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09-10-2013, 10:19 AM

As one of the previous posters said you can't blame the owner for following the money. Too many pool halls go out of business catering to the serious player, of whom there are not enough apparently. Or perhaps they're affluent enough to own their own equipment.

The place where I play my league matches is a nice room. They take good care of the tables, all 9ft Brunswicks, but the atmosphere is a little on the younger side. The tables are a little too close together and the lighting is not ideal. The music is on the loud side with hip hop dominating most of the time.

There is another place about an hour from my home that as soon as you walk in you know you are in a serious room. Completely setup to be a players room. Nicely spaced 9ft tables, great lighting and some really crusty old dudes playing straight pool and one pocket.

They only problem with that place was my wife felt really uncomfortable there. She was the only woman in the place. But that works for that room I guess, I know I would prefer to shoot there.

And please don't be dissing the G-Men. The Boys didnt exactly kick their azz. Next time you might not get 6 presents from Eli & Co.
  
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09-10-2013, 01:50 PM

It's based on what their main source of income is derived from.

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