Hard Times Bellflower

ThinSlice

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Hard times Bellflower is an Icon!!! It should be saved although I kind of doubt it. I was in there last week. The tables are not in good shape. They need a serious recovering. Many of the tables have actual holes in the cloth from the breaking points. Not just one or two but many! Without a beer and wine license this place is doomed. It’s a shame. By far the best pool room layout I have ever seen. Also for the record....Andy’s cloth (which in the tournament room and also on a couple tables in my local room) does not seem to last nearly as long as Simonis. I do not believe this is an opinion. I can honestly say this is the truth for anyone considering a recover.

If this room dies, and I certainly believe that will be the case, then it will be a very sad day and I want table #6. Someone needs to duplicate the setup of that room with a modern flare and an alcohol license.


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jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
From what I've heard that whole block is up for renovation by the city of Bellflower. They can take it all by eminent domain to do what they want and rehab it to their liking. I strongly suspect this will be the last year for Hard Times, probably closing for good the end of this year. The owner knows this so he is not putting any more money into it for that reason. He's on a month to month lease until he has to go.

Hard Times had it's day! It's been there for thirty years and we held some epic events there. Chuck and I managed to put on some of the best poolroom tournaments ever held anywhere, with world class fields. The place was absolutely jam packed all day and all night when it was tourney time. What great memories I have of that period in my life. The only guy who refused to play there was Sigel. Chuck tried everything to get him to play in one of our tournaments but it was never enough for Mike.

The heyday was the late 80's to the late 90's and Chuck was delighted to see Hard Times become one of the premier poolrooms in America. He loved pool and the players, both good and bad. Chuck was good to everyone and a great friend to me. I'm so fortunate to have hooked up with him when I did. We had fun and made money doing it.
 

Runner

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
From what I've heard that whole block is up for renovation by the city of Bellflower. They can take it all by eminent domain to do what they want and rehab it to their liking. I strongly suspect this will be the last year for Hard Times, probably closing for good the end of this year. The owner knows this so he is not putting any more money into it for that reason. He's on a month to month lease until he has to go.

Hard Times had it's day! It's been there for thirty years and we held some epic events there. Chuck and I managed to put on some of the best poolroom tournaments ever held anywhere, with world class fields. The place was absolutely jam packed all day and all night when it was tourney time. What great memories I have of that period in my life. The only guy who refused to play there was Sigel. Chuck tried everything to get him to play in one of our tournaments but it was never enough for Mike.

The heyday was the late 80's to the late 90's and Chuck was delighted to see Hard Times become one of the premier poolrooms in America. He loved pool and the players, both good and bad. Chuck was good to everyone and a great friend to me. I'm so fortunate to have hooked up with him when I did. We had fun and made money doing it.


Yeah, late 80's through the 90's, HT was the nuts.. action central. On any
given day, Efren might be there, Parica, Morro, Mark Tadd, Keith...
when the tours came through you'd get Kimmer, Archer, etc.

When the Mezz tour came through recently, there was a moment where the place was packed, the regulars saying they hadn't seen that many people in a long time.

Even if they just repaired the A/C and replaced that horrible Andy cloth with
Simonis 860 (like they used to run) that woud go a long way to get people
to come play. When players have to bring their own box fans to play on the
tournament side... well, that's pretty bad.
 

Sedog

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I'm ready when you are! I just wish they would recover the tables. I played there last month and let's just say they are in bad shape. It definitely looks like a place that is getting ready to close, as it is not being well maintained.

I agree, was visiting relatives last month and really wanted to play at the legendary Hard Times Billiards. Long story short drove out of my way to play there. The outside was run down and faded and as Jay said the tables really need to be recovered. There was a tournament going on so I didn’t get to see the tables in the tournament room so they may be in better shape. I was disappointed after seeing all of the great players that play there on Povpool.
 

july9x

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Yeah, late 80's through the 90's, HT was the nuts.. action central. On any
given day, Efren might be there, Parica, Morro, Mark Tadd, Keith...
when the tours came through you'd get Kimmer, Archer, etc.

When the Mezz tour came through recently, there was a moment where the place was packed, the regulars saying they hadn't seen that many people in a long time.

Even if they just repaired the A/C and replaced that horrible Andy cloth with
Simonis 860 (like they used to run) that woud go a long way to get people
to come play. When players have to bring their own box fans to play on the
tournament side... well, that's pretty bad
.

No kidding? wth? :eek::eek:
 

POVPOOL

POV Pool
Silver Member
Please share any memories, here...

I have started a new thread and will be at Hard Times for the December 1&2 Monthly Tournaments. There is no official word on closing, folks. From what I'm told by Eddie, he is still negotiating with the owners to sign a long term lease. He is currently month to month and may stay this way indefinitely. I will admit, it does appear as though Hard Times' days are numbered so, for what its worth, if anyone wishes to focus on some of the happier times there and join us to celebrate 30 consecutive years of monthly tournaments at the same location then, contribute to this thread:

https://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=483992
 

JoeyInCali

Maker of Joey Bautista Cues
Silver Member
Yep, I've got it on VHS (I think it was from J.J. Jenkins). I found the 9-ball and the bank pool tapes, and I think there was 1-pocket as well, from HardTimes.

HT was the place where Efren and Grady Mathews hooked up for the biggest one-pocket action then.
Efren won.
JJ has the tape of that one too.
 

ShootingHank

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I have never played there but living in California I’ve always heard about the place and thought there was still hit action,players, tournament and pros. I’m assuming I can walk in there any time of the day and there would be players.

Like all good things it must come to an end. Just like to death of pool and the only thing keeping it alive are the bar tables and leagues. It’s hard to believe that nobody is there due to equipment and central air.
 

ThinSlice

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I have never played there but living in California I’ve always heard about the place and thought there was still hit action,players, tournament and pros. I’m assuming I can walk in there any time of the day and there would be players.



Like all good things it must come to an end. Just like to death of pool and the only thing keeping it alive are the bar tables and leagues. It’s hard to believe that nobody is there due to equipment and central air.



You can still find action but nowhere near the action of the old days when there where thousands on the line.


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ShootingHank

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
You can still find action but nowhere near the action of the old days when there where thousands on the line.


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That’s like all pool halls across the nation and this time around it happened to Hard Times. I guess it’s like the Mecca of pool in its heyday but like all things billiards it will eventually come to an end.

Would this place still be popping with professionals and tournaments if the original owner was still there?
 

garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
There were a LOT of rooms that opened after the Color of Money-inspired pool resurgence. HT's has outlasted most of them. It needs a major overhaul, either in its current location(doubtful) or in a new place. Even in that area i don't see how they can fade the rent.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
Yep, I've got it on VHS (I think it was from J.J. Jenkins). I found the 9-ball and the bank pool tapes, and I think there was 1-pocket as well, from HardTimes.

Pretty sure I was out of the country when that match was played. Sigel and Efren were guaranteed money to appear (something like 2.5K each) and the advertised bet (5K) was only for show. For that reason I had no interest in being involved.
 

Kevin Lindstrom

14.1 Addict
Silver Member
I have had more fun at Hard Times than any other room in which I have played. Sure miss southern California and the pool action that once took place there. Hope this room survives for sure.

Kevin
 

ShootingHank

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I wouldn’t blame the current owner for bad equipment if the industry is dying and/or his business is declining. Equipment is not a reason why professionals are not showing up since those past players from 30 years ago are older and no longer competing. Heck, they don’t go to other venues like they once frequent HT. It’s sad but this is the product of a declining game.

I will try to make it there a spend a day playing before the end.

Pardon my ignorance if there is one but I’m surprised there isn’t a “Hard Times Invitational” with added money that makes it worth traveling to. This is the Mecca of billiards.
 
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Runner

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Old pictures

I thought I'd dig into the archives.. check it out, Morro, Parica, and King Kong (Bernardo Chavez)...
I can't place the other two gentleman... more to come.
 

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Runner

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Ronnie at HT

Ronnie Allen at Hard Times... this was a One Pocket event waaay back.
 

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