Walking into Side Pocket Billiards in the Friendship Mall on Route 9 owner David Chennells wants everyone from the first time player to the seasoned veteran to feel comfortable at one of their 12 tables.
For people who might think of a pool hall as a dark smoky place Chennells said he wants his location to be much more family friendly and open to everyone. "The goal is to promote friendly competition and to keep billiards alive," he said.
Chennells said he knows some people have a bad view of billiards but said the game, which dates back to the 1800's, is something special to take part in. "When it's played right it's a fascinating game," he said. At Side Pocket he said there is no drinking and no gambling which keeps the game pure and fun for everyone.
The cost to play at one of the tables is also part of what Chennells said he hopes will bring people in the door. From the time the doors open at 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. the cost is just $5 per hour per person and goes up to $7 until the doors close at 2 a.m. There are also tournaments on Thursday and Saturday nights and leagues that meet on Monday and Tuesday nights.
Having worked as a general contractor in the past Chennells said opening a pool hall has been a goal for him. Having lived in Howell since 1965 he said he is glad to be a part of the community he spent most of his life in. "I've seen more changes than most people in Howell," he said. "At one time I knew everybody, I knew every road. Now there's roads that I don't even know because of the building that's going on."
Side Pocket Billiards has been open for a year and a half and in that time has already done two fundraisers and Chennells said he is ready to do more.
Since he opened, Chennells said he has enjoyed bringing the game he loves to new people who did not know about his location. "I thought if you build it they will come," he said. "I'm still hearing 'I didn't know you were here,' but that's a positive really."
Whether you are a first time player learning how to break a rack or an experienced player looking to upgrade your own personal cue stick Chennells said he believes Side Pocket Billiards has the right combination for anyone.