Older Pool Halls

Biloxi Boy

Man With A Golden Arm
As I have contemplated the ongoing, and escalating, decimation of pool halls, the absolute cornerstone of our sport, I have wondered about the status of American pool halls in general. Particularly, I have begun to wonder about the longevity of our rooms. In other words, how many pool halls have survived from the '40s? '50s? '60s? In my area, there are no long term survivors. I am really hoping that something remains from these bygone eras beside memories. What's left around y'all?
 
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ChrisinNC

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
As I have contemplated the ongoing, and escalating, decimation of pool halls, the absolute cornerstone of our sport, I have wondered about the status of American pool halls in general. Particularly, I have begun to wonder about the longevity of our rooms. In other words, how many pool halls have survived from the '40s? '50s? '60s? In my area, there are no survivors. I am really hoping that something remains from these bygone eras beside memories. What's left around y'all?
We opened in 1996 and are still going - 10 tables in a rural market, although this is a tourist area in the mountains, which helps. We don’t have alcohol, but our food and beverage operation amounts to 90+% of our sales.

A majority of our customers have never once played pool here - roughly half of that being take-out orders. If it weren’t for that, we would never have made it.

All the old time pool rooms in smaller towns in western NC ( virtually all of them had one or more rooms) have all closed up to my knowledge, without exception.
 
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Biloxi Boy

Man With A Golden Arm
I am pretty certain I spent a rainy afternoon in your place several years back (just passing through). It was a very nice room, and I can certainly understand your success based on my experience.
 

kollegedave

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
As I have contemplated the ongoing, and escalating, decimation of pool halls, the absolute cornerstone of our sport, I have wondered about the status of American pool halls in general. Particularly, I have begun to wonder about the longevity of our rooms. In other words, how many pool halls have survived from the '40s? '50s? '60s? In my area, there are no long term survivors. I am really hoping that something remains from these bygone eras beside memories. What's left around y'all?
In St. Louis, Missouri Cue and Cushion has survived for a LONG time. I believe it was opened in the 60s. It is still going, but the pandemic has been hard.
 

Scratch85

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Our local pool hall, three tables, in a town of 2000, closed in the late 70’s, maybe early 80’s. I went away to college and it was closed when I returned. I have tried to find pictures of it and have had no success. There are no halls in my area from the 60’s, that have survived. Sad


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bbb

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
We opened in 1996 and are still going - 10 tables in a rural market, although this is a tourist area in the mountains, which helps. We don’t have alcohol, but our food and beverage operation amounts to 90+% of our sales.

A majority of our customers have never once played pool here - roughly half of that being take-out orders. If it weren’t for that, we would never have made it.

All the old time pool rooms in smaller towns in western NC ( virtually all of them had one or more rooms) have all closed up to my knowledge, without exception.
Whats the name of your room?
 

garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
As I have contemplated the ongoing, and escalating, decimation of pool halls, the absolute cornerstone of our sport, I have wondered about the status of American pool halls in general. Particularly, I have begun to wonder about the longevity of our rooms. In other words, how many pool halls have survived from the '40s? '50s? '60s? In my area, there are no long term survivors. I am really hoping that something remains from these bygone eras beside memories. What's left around y'all?
Nothing older than mid-'90's in my area. Tulsa at one time had 7-8 rooms with big tables. Now it has two and one is more of a bar with a few tables than a real room.
 

ChrisinNC

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I am pretty certain I spent a rainy afternoon in your place several years back (just passing through). It was a very nice room, and I can certainly understand your success based on my experience.
It’s pretty hard to pass through here! We are over an hour away from the nearest interstate highway - located north of I-40, west of I-77 and southeast of I-81.
 

Biloxi Boy

Man With A Golden Arm
Its those damn two lane black tops, again. You don't get to see much from an interstate. For example, I've driven the Parkway/Skyway at least six times in my lifetime. When I go Northeast, I hit the Natchez Trace asap. Costs a few hours but . . .
 

garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
A place from my dreams. If we locate enough of these gems, I feel another road trip coming on.
VERY few are left. The owners may have died off or rent got too high or the city/town just changed. Booches has survived mostly because Columbia is a college town (U of Mo.) and most of their business is selling burgers(classic semi-greasy burger btw) to students.
 

Lawnboy77

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Our local pool hall, three tables, in a town of 2000, closed in the late 70’s, maybe early 80’s. I went away to college and it was closed when I returned. I have tried to find pictures of it and have had no success. There are no halls in my area from the 60’s, that have survived. Sad


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The same story here, except my old pool hall in rural Kentucky opened in the 20's, or 30's and I think closed in the mid 90. Practically all small towns had a hall like that. It was where the tobacco workers and the local boys would congregate on rainy days. On Saturdays it was the place to be, while the wives and kids went to the town square to shop, the husbands and older boys went to the pool hall to socialize, eat a famous cheeseburger, wash it down with a Ski Cola, and last but not least, get in on a little high stakes rotation on the front table. (LOL Hey it was high stakes for a kid cutting lawns at 4 bucks a pop).
 

Biloxi Boy

Man With A Golden Arm
. . . Booches has survived mostly because Columbia is a college town (U of Mo.) and most of their business is selling burgers . . .
Whatever it takes. Doing the math on table rates should convince anyone that pool alone cannot float the boat. Pool brings them in and keeps them there, but food and alcohol seem to pay the bills. The only other viable model that comes to mind is a "private club" a la Ideologist's place.
 

garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The same story here, except my old pool hall in rural Kentucky opened in the 20's, or 30's and I think closed in the mid 90. Practically all small towns had a hall like that. It was where the tobacco workers and the local boys would congregate on rainy days. On Saturdays it was the place to be, while the wives and kids went to the town square to shop, the husbands and older boys went to the pool hall to socialize, eat a famous cheeseburger, wash it down with a Ski Cola, and last but not least, get in on a little high stakes rotation on the front table. (LOL Hey it was high stakes for a kid cutting lawns at 4 bucks a pop).
"Dumas Walker' ;)
 

Welder84

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
We opened in 1996 and are still going - 10 tables in a rural market, although this is a tourist area in the mountains, which helps. We don’t have alcohol, but our food and beverage operation amounts to 90+% of our sales.

A majority of our customers have never once played pool here - roughly half of that being take-out orders. If it weren’t for that, we would never have made it.

All the old time pool rooms in smaller towns in western NC ( virtually all of them had one or more rooms) have all closed up to my knowledge, without exception.
I used to stop in to the old room in Roanoke Rapids among others. Ran into Y. Chapman once.
 

garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Whatever it takes. Doing the math on table rates should convince anyone that pool alone cannot float the boat. Pool brings them in and keeps them there, but food and alcohol seem to pay the bills. The only other viable model that comes to mind is a "private club" a la Ideologist's place.
A lot of people who frequent Booches never go in the back to play. They have no idea the treasure trove of tables there.
 
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