Peacock Billiards in Victoria, BC, Canada is very successful with 1/12’ snooker, 1/10’ pool, 3/7’s, 1/os8’, and eighteen 9’s. For years we had 9/8’s and 13/9’s, then one day I checked the usage for the last two years. At the top were all the 9’s, followed by the 10’s and 12’s, the 8’s were all the least used.
I had always presumed that non-players would rationally choose the tables that were easier. But being 10% harder doesn’t matter to them, they don’t expect to make that many shots anyway The larger table gives them more real estate for their rental buck. And all styles look better when larger. Actual players were glad to have more 9’s, of course.
Serious players are not a serious part of the revenue, of course, plus they are fussy and demanding. Nonetheless I chose high end and technical tables and cloth, more for myself and my general luxury-loving public than for the serious. But, irritatingly, the tables are not all the same model with the same colour and kind of cloth.
I do have two Diamonds - 7’ oak Professional and 7’ black ProAm - and have probably the only three Unik tables in play in North America, one red, one blue, and one gold to match Simonis cloth colours. KSteel by Sam in Spain, Rasson's Victory and Ox, Olhausen's Hampton and Cavalier, 9' Eclipse and 10’ Arcade by Brunswick, four misc Chinese, Peter Vitalie’s Lord Nelson, Lenox and Bordeaux by World of Leisure, Aspen in walnut and Franciscan Mission in oak by Connelly.
The 12’ is B&W from 1926 with a 12’ Magnum by Rasson on the way (with their unbeatable slate levelling system).
To fill out this costly dog’s breakfast are two tables I made myself at the beginning in 1981when I thought custom hand-made pool tables were my business. But I opened in the first month of the 1981 recession - do you remember 19%-21% interest rates? - selling big ticket items. My first table had a child’s playhouse underneath in solid teak in the architectural style of Greene and Greene. Then art deco style in maple and cherry with gold leaf details and jade lozenges for diamonds. Becoming a poolhall saved the business, but I still wanted different luxury tables to sell from. So variety became my theme. And I love colour so - though you will really hate me now - I have eighteen different colours of cloth right now.
But all this works great for casual players and dates; they definitely have favourite tables based on aesthetics. Leather couches are a factor as well as the 8’x10’ painstaking murals on the walls. The bar and restaurant are drenched in the words of James Joyce as painted on the bar, tables and walls. And otherwise very comfortable. We are very busy and we charge $24cdn ($19us) weekend evenings for four players. The revenue mix is bar 44%; table time 34% (but no food/drink cost); food 16%; table cue etc sales & service work 6%.
The variety theme can be done on a shoestring by buying used furniture tables for 15% the cost of a Diamond, using various colours of cloth - it is very cheerful - and hiring high school artists to re-create large vanGough and Gauguin paintings.