Is Now the right time to open a pool hall

CocoboloCowboy

Cowboys are my hero's
Silver Member
I honestly believe right now I am part of managing one of the highest earning and nicest places with more than a dozen tables in it that is in the country. It was quite the process these past 5 plus years fine tuning it to what it is today and we continue to learn stuff and make changes. I believe that is the thing to do is make the changes as needed to reach the numbers you would like. It started out as Freezer's which was more a poolroom and we later become more of a sports bar which worked a bit better. Now I would consider us an adult entertainment center where grown folks can come and have lots of fun, kid friendly early on and date friendly too.

I think a traditional poolroom with chips and soda isn't going to cut it in this day and age. Remember cheap air sucker water drinking complaining pool players are not customers but problems taking up space. I would go the sports bar route and have some pool tables along with darts. You need a full liquor license, lots of TVs, music, great staff and one of the most important things is great food. You can have a hole in the wall and if the food is good you will have people beating down the doors. Location is certainly important along with parking. We have nearly 200 parking spots and many times we use them all up but thankfully we have some extra parking from the bank across the street which we got permission for.

The place is 16,000 square feet, seating for over 400 people and have around 80 TVs, full bar and full menu, arcades and darts. We also have some free gaming like ping pong, foosball, shuffleboard and cornhole. For pool there are 12 seven foot Diamonds and 10 nine foot Diamonds, when we started we had over 30. League 4 nights out of the week but never on Friday and Saturday night and no tournaments on those nights. There is a waiting list most Friday and Saturday nights and its drinkers and fun players with no serious players there which we like because these people spend money.

The real money is from parties and events since we have so much to do there and alot of space. We do multiples on each night from birthday parties to corporate parties. Since we are near ASU we also do college nights and it can be quite interesting with 400-500 kids showing up to party so we will have a good amount of security to handle that. I think one big key thing is if you can own the building or get a very good price per square foot renting. I think for many that is the biggest nut to crack. Make it a place that ladies like to come and the men will follow with their wallets. Staffing and turnover is high especially when near a college but you put your aces in their places and it makes running things much smoother.

Here are some images of our place now. Our owner Jason Chance is no longer with us as he passed away not long ago. I learned a good deal from him as he was a great businessman with a heart of gold which you don't see that combination very often. He certainly is missed.

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Well it appear the place is money pit by figuring out what works, what makes money, and money is why you are in business, not for laughs n giggles.
 

Bigdaddi44

Registered
I did in fact reply to you via PM. You responded a minute after that, so that confirms it. You being in California is not an issue. Opening a room is very very expensive, especially in California. Are you planning on buying a building? Leasing is a hard option.

TFT
Yeah, I don't check this site very often Sorry.

As for the room, I'm looking at a lease I think it's pretty good for were I am . It's under 90 cents a sq/ft. Planning on 12 9ft tables and 4 bar boxes with a couple of cornhole lanes and darts. I think it will work. I have the city and health dept. inspectors on my side, and that's a good thing. Right now my only issue is I have a friend that wants to be my partner in the business and I'm not sure I want him to be. I think it could cause a problem and I really don't want to lose him as a friend. Wow, wat too much info...LOL
 

trentfromtoledo

8onthebreaktoledo
Silver Member
Yeah, I don't check this site very often Sorry.

As for the room, I'm looking at a lease I think it's pretty good for were I am . It's under 90 cents a sq/ft. Planning on 12 9ft tables and 4 bar boxes with a couple of cornhole lanes and darts. I think it will work. I have the city and health dept. inspectors on my side, and that's a good thing. Right now my only issue is I have a friend that wants to be my partner in the business and I'm not sure I want him to be. I think it could cause a problem and I really don't want to lose him as a friend. Wow, wat too much info...LOL
I have the tables. It will not be cheap, but, will be much more affordable than new ones! Holler if you need my help.

Trent from Toledo
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garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The best rough for smart person is form syndicate of Pool loving fools, do you thing with their money. If your sucessful you are hero, if you fail only thing your out is your time.

From my number crunching in the Valley of the Sun Poolis not in growth mode, more places closing, then opening.
what poolroom has closed out there? got a friend in Mesa who keeps me up to date on stuff and he hasn't mentioned any folding lately.
 

garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Yeah, I don't check this site very often Sorry.

As for the room, I'm looking at a lease I think it's pretty good for were I am . It's under 90 cents a sq/ft. Planning on 12 9ft tables and 4 bar boxes with a couple of cornhole lanes and darts. I think it will work. I have the city and health dept. inspectors on my side, and that's a good thing. Right now my only issue is I have a friend that wants to be my partner in the business and I'm not sure I want him to be. I think it could cause a problem and I really don't want to lose him as a friend. Wow, wat too much info...LOL
you've got enuff big table play for 12 9ft's? most places its the other way around. i live in the midwest and most every place is barbox heavy 'cause that's where the play is.
 

CocoboloCowboy

Cowboys are my hero's
Silver Member
what poolroom has closed out there? got a friend in Mesa who keeps me up to date on stuff and he hasn't mentioned any folding lately.


List is long on Westside of Valley, and most open are dumps that are in bad area with homeless populations.

List of closures is long Pool Room and Bar with Pool tables.

Your friend is in Masa that 60-80 minutes to my East.

Your friend is Valley newcomer, or been in Valley 20 years plus?

Know Main Street is in Mesa, other then that it is only place I have been out east.
 
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garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
List is long on Westside of Valley, and most open are dumps that are in bad area with homeless populations.

List of closures is long Pool Room and Bar with Pool tables.

Your friend is in Masa that 60-80 minutes to my East.

Your friend is Valley newcomer, or been in Valley 20 years plus?

Know Main Street is in Mesa, other then that it is only place I have been out east.
about 7yrs. he plays at main st, bullshooters mostly.
 

CocoboloCowboy

Cowboys are my hero's
Silver Member
Bullshooters is like a Original Waffel House that never got cleaned.

Place smells and is not kept up. Area is full of homeless, would not step foot there after dark.

Has been year since I went to Main Street, but recall it was nice.

Kolby’s in Tempe is nice ladt time I was there, Jimmy L still owned.
 

garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Bullshooters is like a Original Waffel House that never got cleaned.

Place smells and is not kept up. Area is full of homeless, would not step foot there after dark.

Has been year since I went to Main Street, but recall it was nice.

Kolby’s in Tempe is nice ladt time I was there, Jimmy L still owned.
I told my buddy what you said about B'shooters. He said that you're either ultra-sensitive or haven't been in a while. He said they keep it clean and he's heard no complaints along those lines. Also said he's had zero issues at night around the place. There's crime everywhere. Just have to be alert and prepared.
 

CocoboloCowboy

Cowboys are my hero's
Silver Member
I told my buddy what you said about B'shooters. He said that you're either ultra-sensitive or haven't been in a while. He said they keep it clean and he's heard no complaints along those lines. Also said he's had zero issues at night around the place. There's crime everywhere. Just have to be alert and prepared.


Well if smell of kitchen don’t bother you, great go for it.

The place is in need of good old fashion cleaning.

Maybe my nose is ultra sensitive, mention smell to staffer last time I was in.

He agreed it smells like greasy spoon.
 

Bigdaddi44

Registered
Does anyone know of a room in California that's selling it's equipment. Not trying to break the bank though. I have a decent budget but I'm not trying to spend it all on tables. I looked into the "Diamond No Excuses" program but based on lead times, it doesn't wok for me. What I'm looking for is 10-12 Gandy's, Gold Crown's, Rebco's or Olhausen's. They must be in good condition and ready to go to work. I'm not looking for anything that has to be refurbished. I'm good with doing new rails and cloth but nothing too much further than that.

Thanks ahead of time for any information you can pass on.
 

CocoboloCowboy

Cowboys are my hero's
Silver Member
Does anyone know of a room in California that's selling it's equipment. Not trying to break the bank though. I have a decent budget but I'm not trying to spend it all on tables. I looked into the "Diamond No Excuses" program but based on lead times, it doesn't wok for me. What I'm looking for is 10-12 Gandy's, Gold Crown's, Rebco's or Olhausen's. They must be in good condition and ready to go to work. I'm not looking for anything that has to be refurbished. I'm good with doing new rails and cloth but nothing too much further than that.

Thanks ahead of time for any information you can pass on.


I guess your talking California, to
open room.

I see one problem that is crime, the homeless, and the state the state is in.

We in AZ have the dame problems, Bull Shooter that was largest room in Valley is in Phoenix, right in middle of homeless area, poorly policed.

Personally I have zero desire to be with in 3 miles of area.

Last time I was in California was 2014,San Diego was like Calcutta India.🤮
 

bud green

Dolley and Django
Silver Member
Where in Norcal are you?

I know someone who has a thriving pool room, as well as sells tables and does installs. I can get you freezers for storing food for deep fryers (you need one, trust me) at a great price. Professional Empura freezers.

Also have a buddy who installs tables for a living who might be willing to cut you a deal for table set-ups. 10+ years experience.

Good Luck.
 

white1

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
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.
Wow-that is depressing but we’ll written and true. I’m 58-I would love a place to go on saturdays during the day full of pool hall rats and old men and play 1 dollar ring games, cut throat, pill pool, one pocket and most any other game-those places are gone around where I live-just south of bowling green Kentucky.
I would also like to find a similar minded person with a home table to play a couple hours a couple times a week.

What caused me to fall in love with the game is gone.
 
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