View Full Version : I had a question regarding a poolhall??

03-30-2006, 07:20 AM
This year I'm planning on opening a new poolhall in my neighborhood with with 25 pooltables. The problem is that I won't be able to have a liquor license on the beginning and I will only be making the money from teenagers. After the city sees that I'm able to run a pool hall well I will be able to get the liquor license. The question is after I get the license will the 21 and over people be attracked to my poolhall and will I have to have less pooltables after switching it to 21 and over??

03-30-2006, 07:39 AM
Well, first off all it's great that you are going to open a room with 25 tables. I don't think that you will have a problem. Most players that i know go to a pool hall for good tables. However, alcohol is huge part of revenue and for the first part when you are unable to sell that is going to be rough no matter what. You may have to offer someincentives to attract customers.

A lot of teenagers wil be coming in because of the lack of an age limit. But if you advertise weekly tourneys and such as that to lure in the older crowd and keep them.

Once you get the license for alcohol, don't alienate the younger customer base. You can still allow under 21 to play just not to drink (this is what most pool halls do here). The only restriction that i know of is no one under 18. That way you will have developed a strong multirange customer base and hopefully your hall will flourish. Good luck with it all.

Just my 2c, i'm no business major though.

03-30-2006, 09:16 AM
Whats the nut?

03-30-2006, 03:01 PM
Yeah it is a good idea to have it 18 to enter and 21 to drink. Because I know it is not easy making the money from just tables alone. I really don't know the statistics but if there is a poolhall that is 18 to enter and 21 to drink what percentage of people that are over the age of 21 would actually attend?? Would it be more appealing having a place strictly 21 and over so people of that age would feel more comfortable being there??? Because not to far away from my house there is a poolhall that has the age of 18 to enter and 21 to drink but majority of the people look like they are underage. Another problem with that is that if you serve alcohol under one roof the 21 and over people can give alcohol to the underage and the place can get shut down. I would want to hear some opinions on that subject.


03-30-2006, 08:13 PM
The pool hall that i used to frecuent in college (i'll refrain from mentioning the name) had an interesting approach to handling the age situation. They had the hall split into two sides, smoking and non-smoking. A lot of the people who were underage for drinking would go to the non smoking side. Most smokers drink and a lot of non smokers don't. But they also have a very good split with close to 15 tables on each side.

You run a very dangerous game if you restrict the age to only 21 and up. Point in case, there was another hall that was open in my home town, a very nice "upscale" room. However, the owners and management were so tight on the age rule that it alienated much of their potential clientele (the hall was very close to a mall and malls always attract younger clientele).

Depending on how you want to run your hours here is what i would suggest, during your daytime hours, say 10am-6pm have it be an open age limit (under 16 accompanied by adults) will options for play, hourly rate per person/per table, or flat rate during those hours i.e. $5 all you can play. During your "prime hours", 7pm to close, 18 to play 21 to drink, strictly enforced. And i mean big black x's on the hands of anyone under 21.

There are a lot of good players that are between the 18 and 21 and they are going to want to be able to play. Plus it provides the opportunity to establish a loyal customer base.

03-31-2006, 04:23 AM
that sucks you won't be able to get the liquor license right off the bat. I work at the Bumpers Billiards in Montgomery, AL. For a short time we tried to do the 18 for entry and 21 to drink thing, but for us personally it just didn't work. Too much liability for the under 21's, too many problesm from the young ones trying to drink, and no real way to profit from them being there (a $5 cover and a buck for a coke just doesn't go real far in a town like Montgomery). Most of our revenue comes from alcohol sales. In fact usually the only nights there's not a way to get free pool with us is on weekends, simply because we have the crowd friday and saturday anyway. I'm not sure where you are from, but if it's like our hall in Montgomery, then it may be bad news for you.

One the opposite side of that is our place in Auburn (major college town). There they do the 18 and up thing (using bracelets), and it works very well-- I suppose because of the fact that there is a major university there and a high percentage of the population is college kids. I'm not sure if they use a cover charge or anything, but they do well... but they also serve alcohol and most of their money does come from those sales as well.

Sure the shooters will love nice tables, and we had a competitor try to use that system before to lure the shooters into their business. It didn't take them long to see the people they were attracting weren't there to spend much money. They have since moved to more of a club/bar atmosphere.

I do wish you luck in your venture, and sure hope it works out well for you. I hate to bring a semi-negative point of view, but I did just want to be honest in the fact that I haven't seen a poolhall stay open real long without the benefit of selling alcohol. And when we did attempt to allow a younger crowd in, our regular patrons really didn't like it much at all. But I do hope your thing works... I know most areas need a nice place for the teens to be able to go hang out at. If you need any more insight or info, or if you want me to see if I can get some figures from the manager of the Auburn location, shoot me a PM and I'll see what I can do. Hope I was of some help!


03-31-2006, 07:11 AM
It all depends on what people are used to. I lived in NYS most of my life till about 9 years ago. I played in commerial rooms for 20+ years and they did not serve alcohol untill 2 or 3 years after I moved out of the state. I played in a room that has been open about 40 years without alcohol sales. I think that in some states, if you serve alcoholic beverages no one under 21 is allowed. Make SURE you find out just what the law says. A friend of mine just opened a place in South Carolina, and I'm pretty sure he can't allow under 21 unless with a parent.