Should I open a pool room?

Jude Rosenstock

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
That's where the Retro theme comes in, young folks dig it but would love to get real feedback from them.
It's just more complicated than that. I've played in dozens of poolrooms over the years and no two are alike. Being "retro" is a nice theme. I've always enjoyed it. But, success isn't found in themes. It's about constantly trying to monetize every square foot of your space while remembering what you're about.

I know a room that recently closed that leaned into the retro theme. They had no televisions because the owner (a friend of mine) strongly believed people should leave television at home when going out. I know for a few years, he struggled to get his room out of the red. I don't know if he ever did but he's closed now so I guess that's the answer.

I think you have to be very cognizant of who your competition is, what they offer, and why they're successful. And then, do it better. In your area, retro might be part of it but there's another 95% you have to answer for.
 

HNTFSH

Birds, Bass & Bottoms
Gold Member
Silver Member
It's just more complicated than that. I've played in dozens of poolrooms over the years and no two are alike. Being "retro" is a nice theme. I've always enjoyed it. But, success isn't found in themes. It's about constantly trying to monetize every square foot of your space while remembering what you're about.

I know a room that recently closed that leaned into the retro theme. They had no televisions because the owner (a friend of mine) strongly believed people should leave television at home when going out. I know for a few years, he struggled to get his room out of the red. I don't know if he ever did but he's closed now so I guess that's the answer.

I think you have to be very cognizant of who your competition is, what they offer, and why they're successful. And then, do it better. In your area, retro might be part of it but there's another 95% you have to answer for.
I don't disagree nor did I offer a one pronged approach to success. You can't switch from theme is important for draw to theme isn't important in the same conversation. Yes, lots of angles and considerations, that's obvious.
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
My family had 3 rooms. Two in S CA then one in SE MI. Two closed, one sold and still in biz... It was great while it lasted. The smaller room is still there, did the best in the long run and in net profit. The smaller the better. Less employees, very minimal food. The kitchen (food biz) is a nightmare.
Did you sell alcohol? About what part of your profit was that?
 

arnaldo

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Should I open a pool room as a retirement plan or is that silly?
Given your many years of experience and your abilities, you could achieve the same retirement goals of staying active with the sport and monetizing your knowledge in a hassle-free way:

Become a professional instructor, willing to regionally travel to all manner of other home-table venues, and commercial rooms, as well as using a table installed in your own or a friend's home.

I would think that many, many women and men would feel very comfortable taking lessons from you. With sufficient advertising, and publicity via TV, the Internet (website, etc.) plus colorful & extensive newspaper/magazine sports reporter interviews, you could relatively easily have a steady retirement income business with very few dollars invested upfront.

Your credentials as a qualified instructor are not necessarily dependent in any way with a long period of being a tournament player. This remains true with many sports. It's what you know, and can instructively observe and communicate about, and remedy, that counts.

And definitely get started on a book (with a reliable pro-writer collaborator) dealing with your intriguing road playing days.

Arnaldo
 

Get_A_Grip

Truth Will Set You Free
Silver Member
I suspect that anyone that opens a pool room would end-up working harder than they did in their entire life. So no, you couldn't open a pool room and retire. Even if you think that you would just fund the room and have others run it for you, I suspect that in order to make sure the room survives you would need to spend a lot of time managing things.
 

middleofnowhere

Registered
Should I open a pool room as a retirement plan or is that silly?
I have owned three and I can tell you there's so many variables your question can't actually be answered.
Is a pool room a viable, yes of course. Do a lot of pool rooms open and go broke, yes of course.

Is there a reason why a pool room and goes out of business, like any other business yes of course. Can these reasons be identified and overcome, yes of course.
 
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Jude Rosenstock

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I don't disagree nor did I offer a one pronged approach to success. You can't switch from theme is important for draw to theme isn't important in the same conversation. Yes, lots of angles and considerations, that's obvious.

I think we're just focusing on different aspects of this. I'm here to talk about management and you're talking about themes. That's cool but I don't understand why you would reply to *my* comment then.
 

Nikrnic

Member
Did you sell alcohol? About what part of your profit was that?
Yes, sold alcohol so food was required. The smaller room (still going) however was only beer and wine and served simple sandwiches and hot dogs, no grill or kitchen just a small prep area. Alcohol made the real money though then time, kitchen was lucky to break even in the big rooms. The smaller room had smaller numbers but a much larger net in the end and much less hassle. When biz is slow in a big room with a big nut that spells big trouble. I'm not saying what's the right or wrong way but what worked for us for longevity and net PR was smaller, 10-12 tables not 25-30, simpler the better, no big restaurant type kitchen, less employees the better, like 1or2 plus yourself watching every dime.

Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk
 

HNTFSH

Birds, Bass & Bottoms
Gold Member
Silver Member
I think we're just focusing on different aspects of this. I'm here to talk about management and you're talking about themes. That's cool but I don't understand why you would reply to *my* comment then.
You start with "it's more complicated than that". No shit! I didn't go into detail about every aspect of retail/entertainment business success. Just like you didn't. What I suggested were one or two considerations to the overall draw to the business. I also have no idea what TV's had to do with Retro rooms but by golly you've come to sound conclusions there apparently. 🤔
 

Jude Rosenstock

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
You start with "it's more complicated than that". No shit! I didn't go into detail about every aspect of retail/entertainment business success. Just like you didn't. What I suggested were one or two considerations to the overall draw to the business. I also have no idea what TV's had to do with Retro rooms but by golly you've come to sound conclusions there apparently. 🤔

And here comes the curmudgeonly attitude. Blah, blah, blah, curse, insults. Okay...
 

middleofnowhere

Registered
Yes, sold alcohol so food was required. The smaller room (still going) however was only beer and wine and served simple sandwiches and hot dogs, no grill or kitchen just a small prep area. Alcohol made the real money though then time, kitchen was lucky to break even in the big rooms. The smaller room had smaller numbers but a much larger net in the end and much less hassle. When biz is slow in a big room with a big nut that spells big trouble. I'm not saying what's the right or wrong way but what worked for us for longevity and net PR was smaller, 10-12 tables not 25-30, simpler the better, no big restaurant type kitchen, less employees the better, like 1or2 plus yourself watching every dime.

Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk
Exactly, that's the formula it's been working for 150 years. These guys who try to build these palaces or monuments to themselves they all go broke..
 

Boxcar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Find the perfect room near your home and start hanging out there. Relax, have fun, play. You will never have to open in the morning or close at night. You will never have to make payroll. You won't need a CPA. As a competitor, you will make more money than as an owner, with no ownership headaches. You will become the resident guru, the elder statesperson, the Oracle of Delphi. You will wear sharp clothes which will stay clean. You will never have to clean the barf out of the men's restroom, or unclog a toilet, or dodge rounds from the guy who wants your cash box.
You have earned the right to smell the roses. Don't blow it.
 

mikemosconi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Based on the responses so far, I’d say a one table pool room at home is the best option for a retiree!
Best reply yet - from a recently retired guys perspective I cannot imagine running a 7 day a week, 10+ hour a day business late into the night - bc if you are not physically there at least 70% of the time it will never be what you want it to be. Just way too may hours to do it right in "retirement"
 

Brookeland Bill

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
First get a job managing a room for at least a year or two. Learn evertHong you can from accounting to cleaning the toilets. Then get a permanent job sacking groceries at H-E-B for $15/hour. You will be and remaIn solvent.
 

AndRun

Registered
Should I open a pool room as a retirement plan or is that silly?
This is merely based on my perception of your question. As others have said, there's not enough information to accurately understand your intent.

I love to own a pool hall as a hobby. But I simply don't have the money.
Owning a pool hall is the opposite from owning a 5-star hotel in the middle of Manhattan in terms of revenue. We're not even talking about the quantity, but merely in terms of good, bad and okay.

For the most part, it requires tremendous effort to make it profitable. It's not one that will bring just enough revenue simply by letting the gears turn on their own. It's not like your neighborhood Fortune Chinese take out.

So, hypothetically, if I retire and still have extra funds after the primary bulk has been set aside to at least maintain the current lifestyle (until death) then sure I'd love to open a pool hall after retirement.
The only question left is the amount of extra funds.

Really large. It needs to be able to purchase and start a business (i.e. licenses, land, property, etc). On top of that, the fund needs to also be large enough to cover day to day maintenance, repair/replace cost, and all other fees for the time until my death. This has to be calculated in the worst case scenario if there were no single customer during that entire period of time.

Then yeah. It doesn't matter if I retire in the boondocks of Alaska. I'd still open a pool hall because I love doing it.
I'm not rich. So the extra funds would need to be multi folds larger than the "primary bulk."

But if I had to pick one, I'd rather retire with the same financial level as currently and own a pool hall, than be rich but cursed to never own a pool hall.
No. I'm never gonna earn enough extra funds to own a pool hall at this rate.
So I'd rather be rich, since neither will allow me to own a pool hall.
Jk. A play of catch 22.
 
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