Name a pool hall you wish was still open today



Seven Seas on Broadway in San Diego were a 17yr old sailor could learn the art of a DUMP.Thanks Dave Le Big Ralph, Swan and low lifes.But having learned that i knew not to ever trust a poolplayer again. Like them yep trust nope.Yea id go back to 7SEAS in a heartbeat.

I remember it from my 1st pass out of bootcamp!
Wow a spookyplace!


A few great rooms in NYC have closed in the last decade:

Masters, Soho billiards, Park Slope billiards, the original Amsterdam in the upper west side, and Paradise in Queens.

A lot of great players called these places home, they had so many great tournaments, money games and educational opportunities while they were open.


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The Rochester Club - East Avenue Rochester NY

Golden 8 Ball Billiards - Grand Avenue Phoenix AZ.


The Rack in Detroit
Cotton Bowling Palace Dallas
Jack and Jill’s Arlington

All had great action and lots of players.

Bill S.


Broadway Billiards NYC

Broadway Billiards - NYC. Basement room. Open 24/7. Lots of small money games to be had. Kinda dumpy with worn equipment but the tables were level. I miss it....and it's a shame to say there is no 24/7 pool in NYC since it closed, AFAIK.
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The Star Pool Room which was in the basement of the old Spencer Hotel in Marion, IN. Also Dusty's which was in a corner section of an alley in downtown Marion.


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Ames Billiard Academy in NYC, the poolroom featured in "The Hustler".
I went there a few times right after the movie came out in the Fall of '61.
One flight upstairs at 160 West 44th Street near 7th Avenue.
They had nothing but pool and billiards tables.
No food was available, as I recall.
I remember they had toward the back of the room a lonely red Coca-Cola machine, dispensing those very small glass bottles of Coke.
It was usually very dark back there because those tables were rarely in use.
The nicer front tables were covered with a black cloth when not in use.
Tommy the Hat, who appeared in "The Hustler", was the daytime houseman, and sat inside a wire cage. He time-stamped a card, wrote down the table #, and gave it to you. The lights on the tables were all dark until you got to the table and then he turned them on. Ames provided no powder because of the cleanup.
Ames raised their hourly rate after "The Hustler" from about $1/hr to 1.50/hr.

By that time, most of the action had moved over to Paddy's 7-11 Club, which was above the Metropole Cafe on Seventh Avenue and 48th Street. The Metropole featured topless dancers on top of the bar, wearing nipple pasties, and some pretty fair jazz players. I couldn't get in because I was under aged (18), and looked like I was about 12 years old. But, I used to catch a glance of the topless dancers before I walked upstairs to Paddy's.
The regulars there were the stuff of pool legends: Jersey Red, Johnny Ervolino, Brooklyn Jimmy, Deano, Boston Shorty, Slim, Richie From The Bronx, Snag, Blood, Country, Staten Island, Rockaway Abe, Flaco, Miami, Agusatate, etc.
They had 6x12 snooker, 5x10 pocket and 3-cushion, and 9 foot tables.
It was 24-7 at Paddy's in the '60's...the room where real action usually began after midnight. When the uptown NYC pimps found their way upstairs to Paddy's it became a feeding frenzy. Sometimes women would be present for these sessions.
Tommy the Hat was also the part-time houseman here during the graveyard shift.
There was no place to hang up your coat, so players rolled them up and stuck them under the pool table when they were in action. A lot of guys played with their winter coats on because they were afraid of somebody stealing them from under the table.
The room was huge, filled with smoke. They served coffee and some snacks, but had no tables where you could sit down, so everybody had to juggle their food, coffee, cigarettes, cues, and clothing.
Wooden floors, worn out and covered with cigar and cigarette butts.
There was a horrible brass spittoon near the houseman's desk.
I remember that I tried not use the bathroom at Paddy's. You can imagine why.
Very few road players left Paddy's without having their bankrolls lightened.
It was also a hotbed for swag jewelry and watches. I was approached several times to buy gold bracelets, rings and watches.

Across town, on the West Side, was McGirr's, which was downstairs at 45th Street and Eighth Avenue. Jack Dempsey's Bar was upstairs, on the street level.
McGirr's moved there around 1956 and I began visiting around 1960. Abe Rosen was a fixture on the front billiards table. Johnny Irish was there, half-sleeping on a wooden chair. I saw Peter Falk, John Cassavetes, and Jerry Orbach play there.
There was another actor, African-American, who starred on a children's TV show, who name I can't remember. He usually wore a fancy ascot under his collar. I think that several years later he was accused of inappropriate behavior with children.
One time, Eddie Taylor stopped by and fooled around, showing some bank trick shots. McGirr's had beautiful wooden individual cue lockers lined up along the walls and big wire clothing baskets on rollers under the tables. Cigar John was the houseman during the day. I never saw him without a cigar between his teeth. The bathroom was OK and nobody spit on the floor. Their tables were in pretty fine condition back then.
African-American women would bring the balls to your table, uncover it, turn on the lights, serve coffee, etc. Many of the men were executives, who wore suits and ties. It was much more refined than were Ames' or Paddy's. Later on, it deteriorated and became a hang-out for bums and drugs. I think it closed around '65. After McGirr's closed, the cues that were never removed from their private lockers were bought by Dennis Glenn's father. Some of those cues formed the basis for the Glenn Cue Collection.

Julian's Billiard Academy was upstairs at 138 East 14th Street, near Union Square.
It had huge windows running along 14th Street, so it was very bright during the day.
By the time I found my way there in the early '60's, the action had moved elsewhere.
George Mikula, the great 14.1 player, was one of Julian's top shooters. (When Julian's closed, Mikula moved a few blocks north to Chelsea Billiards, where he became the house pro and counterman. George also became an early mentor to Ginky Sansouci.) Julian's had a 6x12 snooker table, one or more 3-cushion tables and about 30 pocket tables. Some of the tables were very old and had drop pockets with ball nets and were in pretty bad shape.
I can't recall if they sold any food, but I recall that they had a soda machine.
Their bathroom was avoided by most normal folks.
I played there once and the set of balls I was given were mixed between Brunswick Centennials and the old "mud" balls. They had the powder "in a cone" available at the counter and near some tables. I was used to paying about $1 per hour, but Julian's charged $1.50/hour, I think. There was a tiny bowling alley downstairs, but it was so dark down there that I never ventured inside.

Great info, but a couple of minor corrections.

Jack Dempsey's longstanding Restaurant / saloon was on the west side of Broadway, not 8th Avenue. Check out his souvenir postcard:

And McGirr's didn't close until about 1983. There's a New York Times article from 1977 about a tournament that was held there.

OTOH you're right about the drop pockets at Julian's, and although the pockets at Ames were also forgiving, the ones at Julian's were among the biggest I've ever played on.


Laurel Billiards in Winsted,CT and Connecticut Billiards in Torrington,CT and one more Bristol Billiards in Bristol,CT. There are no more rooms around!!!!!!!


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Loree Jon Billiards in Green Brook NJ. Incredible pool room for action. It was also where I grew up. Must have closed 20 years ago!!


New member
Best in West

Mecca Billiards in Sant Monica Ca. Owner from Barcalona. 5 billiard, 2 snooker & 5 pool tables. Herb Petersen came in occasionally... I bought my Martin Cue there in mid sixties.
Jim B