Is Now the right time to open a pool hall

Bigdaddi44

Registered
I've been toying with the idea of opening a small room for he last 10 years or so and finally decided to pull the trigger. The problem is that right now seems like the wrong time. With viruses and jobs lost, people losing their minds over simple things like "my choice is greater than your choice". I'm just wondering if I'm the only one that thinks this way. Not to mention the cost of equipment and permits. What do you think?
 

garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I've been toying with the idea of opening a small room for he last 10 years or so and finally decided to pull the trigger. The problem is that right now seems like the wrong time. With viruses and jobs lost, people losing their minds over simple things like "my choice is greater than your choice". I'm just wondering if I'm the only one that thinks this way. Not to mention the cost of equipment and permits. What do you think?
where?
 

Island Drive

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
With the HIGH vacancy rate because of the pandemic, a large vacant building is much easier to find and the cost might be half of normal.
 

book collector

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I've been toying with the idea of opening a small room for he last 10 years or so and finally decided to pull the trigger. The problem is that right now seems like the wrong time. With viruses and jobs lost, people losing their minds over simple things like "my choice is greater than your choice". I'm just wondering if I'm the only one that thinks this way. Not to mention the cost of equipment and permits. What do you think?
Find your spot, make sure {absolutely positively } you can get the required permits, and then check with local law and government officials if a pool room will be welcome. If that all pans out , I still wouldn't do it, if it was me , the way things are going .
I get the feeling , someone is trying to get rid of the mom and pop places. I could be wrong.
 

Fatboy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I've been toying with the idea of opening a small room for he last 10 years or so and finally decided to pull the trigger. The problem is that right now seems like the wrong time. With viruses and jobs lost, people losing their minds over simple things like "my choice is greater than your choice". I'm just wondering if I'm the only one that thinks this way. Not to mention the cost of equipment and permits. What do you think?
The math answers that question.

Hopefully it works out that it’s a good time to open a room.

Johnny Archer just opened a room in Georgia and it’s doing amazingly well. It’s more of a sports bar with pool tables-but the pool tables (the 9’ ones) are set up for players not drinkers. The area he is in was clearly needing a bar, entertainment and it worked. Exploded and they still don’t have a sign up yet.

If I tried to open a room like Johnnys here in LA, I couldn’t get a liquor license & if I could my rent would be 3X more than his and I’d be lucky to do 25% the sales he’s doing. I’d be losing money. It’s not possible to open a room in LA and make $.

So where you are located is really the driving factor behind the math.

Good luck
Fatboy
 

MmmSharp

Nudge is as good as a wink to a blind bat.
Silver Member
I agree with everything above. Especially the local politics and law. A friend was moving his hall, and after he shut it down the city is saying no to a new location. City said pool halls are encouraging drugs and gangs.

So location and the local support is key.
 

Fatboy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I agree with everything above. Especially the local politics and law. A friend was moving his hall, and after he shut it down the city is saying no to a new location. City said pool halls are encouraging drugs and gangs.

So location and the local support is key.
Everybody knows schools & gyms’s are the best places to buy drugs. They didn’t get the memo? “City” wouldn’t know what a proper pool room is if they saw one……
 

Fatboy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Think owning a pool room in 2022 is a way to turn $1,000,000.00 - $3,000,000.00 investment into next to nothing fast
In most cases yes you are correct.

There’s a very very few markets where you can open and print $.

Atlanta and it’s suburbs are ripe and fertile for sports bars/pool rooms.

It’s certainly the exception not the rule.

There are better ways to lose money lol.

Sad state of affairs,
Fatboy
 

MmmSharp

Nudge is as good as a wink to a blind bat.
Silver Member
Wow. Have those jackasses ever set foot in a pool hall? How many times did the police get called to your friends place? I'll bet zero. I'm enraged for your friend. I wonder if it was some mid level bureaucrat that said no or if that policy comes from the city council.

It was in fairly shady part of downtown. Any establishment would have questionable characters as regulars. I wouldn't have sent anyone new down there.

Even still, calling out pool halls specifically was the issue i had with it.
 

Fatboy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Little more insight

Need full liquor, poker machines(legally), full kitchen, promotions, pool is just a activity in what I’d define as a 2022 “pool room” it’s not the core biz. Drinkers are your core customers.

Need to be in a market where rent is 75¢-$1.00/sf a month. Anything more than 1.50/ft your just making the land lord money. This biz just doesn’t work in high NNN lease buildings.

Bar boxes are the key, only to smash more drinkers into the venue. Johnny could add more pool tables-but they would get in the way of the drinkers & karaoke(makes more than any pool table ever).

So I revised my “smash as many bar boxes into the whole place as possible” formula. That’s not correct. That’s too much pool.

Revised idea is take 50% of your space and smash in barbox’s and the other 50% with tables chairs. Low tops, high tops. Karaoke/live music space.

The pool tables are really a side show, a activity like darts at this point in running a profitable biz.

No of course not, this isn’t my dream pool room. But I’m talking about making $ and pools being a small part of it. Very small now. But that’s the reality of the current biz environment we live in.

The biz I just described in the right markets (the south) is ripe. I’ve seen it first hand-it’s working.

Just remember it’s not about pool, it’s about making $.

Want a pool room? Be ready to lose, and that’s ok if your deep enough and it’s worth it. Not all biz have to be profitable. Some guys build their hangout win or lose.

That’s my 2022 poolroom revisited ideas for profit. Less bar boxes more drinkers

And equally as important be in a City/Town/County that wants you to be there. Go set up shop where your wanted and celebrated. In any biz venture for that matter.

Avoid areas where they hate you from day 1. Hardtimes Bellflower was a prime example of that in 88. They (city of bellflower) hated Chuck-ask Jay.

You have to open where everything lines up, rent, customer base, licensing, does the town/city embrace or tolerate you?

If everything doesn’t line up. Game over. Huge losses. If it does, good return on a investment. It’s not $1M to open a joint in the south. 350–450 gets it done.


Good luck
Fatboy
 
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Fatboy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I've been toying with the idea of opening a small room for he last 10 years or so and finally decided to pull the trigger. The problem is that right now seems like the wrong time. With viruses and jobs lost, people losing their minds over simple things like "my choice is greater than your choice". I'm just wondering if I'm the only one that thinks this way. Not to mention the cost of equipment and permits. What do you think?
Read my post above this. I’m a biz man last 30 years. It’s what I do. I been around pool ~40 years. Misspent youth thing.

Read the long post above, will help you a lot I’m sure. Hopefully some other.

Be great if more rooms opened with a winning formula. Still puts cues in hands.
 

boogieman

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that ping.
I've been toying with the idea of opening a small room for he last 10 years or so and finally decided to pull the trigger. The problem is that right now seems like the wrong time. With viruses and jobs lost, people losing their minds over simple things like "my choice is greater than your choice". I'm just wondering if I'm the only one that thinks this way. Not to mention the cost of equipment and permits. What do you think?
I'll add a bit more to the negative side. I'm an "elder millennial," meaning I'm 41 years old. People my age grew up before the internet, when you came home when the street lights came on, etc. As a blanket statement, people my age or younger don't care much about socializing. If we do, there is online. If we want competition, we will play the newest and greatest online game. More competition there and you can play in your underwear. The world is shit, we've lived through countless recessions, terrorists, shootings, "pandemics" etc. The world is shit out there and nobody wants much of it. We've all worked retail as there aren't any real jobs left and it adds to the hatred of people. People are shit. A person can be great, but overall I'm not a fan of people or groups. It would be disrespectful and naive to call it retail PTSD, but trust me, you want nothing to do with the public.

I'm a bit different from the elder part. The American dream was sort of possible. I can't complain. Have a house and a pool table. Many 30 year olds are still living at home. No future. No jobs, no money, no affordable housing. It can be done, but good luck with the upbringing and brainwashing consumed on a daily basis.

We are entertained by a rectangle we carry around everywhere (I can hardly stand the things). Go out to a pool hall? Why? I can download 20 apps on my phone for free that I can play pool with real competitive players around the world. It's cheaper too.

I'm a little bit different due to having much older siblings and being brought up by parents with a parenting style a couple decades older than my contemporaries. The world out there (and mostly people) has become garbage through a constant bombardment of advertising, propaganda, a place where your thoughts are bought and sold by an algorithm. Instant gratification and a self centered society. "F" all of that, I'd rather set up a table in my basement and play with friends. Bars are where losers hang out (I don't believe this, but ask anyone under 40 once they are over 24 years old). If I want to drink, I can get a bottle for the cost of 4 shots at a cheap place. I have a big screen TV hooked to the internet and can watch anything I want on demand, even Dr. Dave videos while I'm at the table! I have video game systems from my childhood, arcade games, board games, cards, etc. Much to do there with friends, and if one of them is a smoker, I just open the basement window and turn on the fan.

So why go out at all? Boredom and seeking companionship or competition. You can meet friends, better folks playing pool than many places. At least more interesting.

But what's the market for a pool hall? Pool players are a niche market. Bars aren't for everybody. Everybody eats, but running a kitchen isn't an easy job if you want to do it right. Entertainment is cheap or free everywhere, what's the draw of a pool hall? Did kids play it in gym class and get a love for the game? Nope. Your best bet is someone had a table growing up or got interested in pool for some other reason, maybe seeing some highlight shots on a YouTube video. Pretty sketchy market future. I hope not, but the signs aren't great for a bright future. You have to make it a thing that people can get tik tok likes. Gotta have a backdrop for the instagram "models" to get the clicks. That's the younger (under 30) crowd. It's all about clout and bragging, even if it's not done for manipulative reasons. Those "upvotes" are a real serotonin booster. The system is rigged and designed that way. Young folks want glitz and glamor. They can't really ever have a piece of the "good life" (in quotes) so they want a place they can feel like a baller for a night.

If the local market supports it, I see a real path would be to have a billiards club, scanners at the door, cameras, open 24/7. Monthly or yearly fee. There, that's a place to play pool with nice tables. It's dicey but it could work in the right place. Membership only by being sponsored by a current member (who can lose membership if an issue arises) or by actually getting to know the applicant a bit.

You could have an open tournament for potential members or the public held a couple times a year if you need to drum up business. People want spaces with good equipment that aren't packed with other people.
 
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chefjeff

If not now...
Silver Member
There is a generalized pent up feeling in the market that can be only satisfied by real human contact.

I'd say it's a great time to reach out and try to grab that market. When has it been better in the past decade?

Commercial real estate is in a place where no one knows what's going to happen to its price levels. 40% of the commercial market is empty. EMPTY.


Jeff Livingston
 

boogieman

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that ping.
There is a generalized pent up feeling in the market that can be only satisfied by real human contact.

I'd say it's a great time to reach out and try to grab that market. When has it been better in the past decade?

Commercial real estate is in a place where no one knows what's going to happen to its price levels. 40% of the commercial market is empty. EMPTY.


Jeff Livingston
Very true.
 

Island Drive

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
One of my best friends, just rented a where house with 30' ceilings, bathroom and office area included for $500 a mth in HIGH RENT AREA COLORADO SPRINGS.
He's now able to do reroofing jobs and repairs on Motorhomes/heated building in the winter.
He no longer has to run his mobile unit & DRIVE all the time to the job site.
It $AVED em a ton/and TON$ TIME.
Make sure you get a lease with terms that suit YOU.
 
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