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04-17-2005, 11:20 PM
04/18/2005
Billiards, food to mix in Kingston
By Jonathan Ment , Freeman staff
web page (http://www.dailyfreeman.com/site/news.cfm?BRD=1769&dept_id=74958&newsid=14364790&PA G=461&rfi=9)
KINGSTON - Adding to its eclectic mix of shops, the city's Stockade District is about to pocket a high-class billiard hall, designed for tournament and everyday play, and featuring an upscale restaurant.

Stockade Billiards and Café is scheduled to open around the end of the month at 311 Wall St., in the former Woolworth's building.

Frank Piccoli, from Kingston's Sea Deli, has been an avid pool player for years and has long wanted to open a hall of his own. He's finally doing so, with business partner Joe Macagne.

The pair has enlisted a professional pool player, Teddy Garrahan, to help design the 12,000-square-foot hall.

"I knew Joe through the pool world," said Garrahan. "He asked me to come up and be the pro, give lessons and manage the place."

Garrahan said he played professionally for 10 years and was a highly ranked player in the late 1990s. "When I was younger, that's all I did, travel around the country and play pool," he said.

Garrahan moved from New Jersey to Port Ewen for the opening.

Apart from tables available for hourly play, the hall has a tournament area. There, 32-year-old Garrahan suggested elevated seating overlooking about 20 tables, with bench seating for the players and stools for observers higher up.

The carpentry, carpet and lights, along with a raft of new pool tables, are all part of a roughly $250,000 renovation project that has been ongoing for six months.

"We're going to have weekly tournaments and hope to attract a national circuit," said Garrahan. He said regional tournaments will likely attract players from a 200-mile radius and weekly competitions should draw from 40 to 50 miles around.

"It seems like this is very unexpected," said Garrahan, adding he gets that sense from folks wandering in for a look from either the Wall Street or Crown Street entrances.

"If people are into pool and they want to learn, this is the place to be. If they just want to play, or eat, this is the place with great food," said Garrahan. "We're going to keep it trouble-free. It's going to be all ages, not dominated toward the older crowd or kids."

The old Woolworth's kitchen, which once serviced a simple lunch counter, has been restocked with new equipment for the café. It will be run by Paul Traficanti, formerly of Traficanti's Hillside restaurant in Accord, with Scott Grasso, a recent graduate of the Culinary Institute of America.

Grasso described the menu as "a fusion between old-world Italian and new school swing," with fresh seafood and steaks, homemade soups and pizza and more.

Most entrees will be under $20, and will be served until 10 p.m. Lunch specials, including sandwiches and pizzas, will be priced reasonably.

The bar, at least until a liquor license is granted, will serve juice and fruit smoothies.

Stockade Billiards will be open daily from 11:30 a.m. till at least 2 a.m., said Garrahan, adding that it has a variance permitting a 24-hour operation.

Plans to add a second, much larger location are already being discussed, he said.