Most towns of, say, more than 1,000 population used to have pool halls.
Platteville formerly had a pool hall downtown that once was visited by legendary pool player Willie Mosconi. On April 22, 1953 in an exhibition, Mosconi knocked in 322 consecutive balls, which was believed to be a world record at the time.
The stereotypical pool hall was a dark, smoke-filled room where men would go to play pool and shady characters would hang around.
The Pool Hall at 155 S. Water St. in Platteville matches that description in exactly one area — it’s a dark room, with the pool tables lit by overhead lights.
“We cater to everybody, families,” said owner D.J. Burris. “We don’t sell alcohol.”
Burris describes the business as offering “a world-class pool environment for the southwest area of Wisconsin.” The pool hosts tournaments on weekends.
The business features two U.S. Open-size tables nine feet long, and eight “bar-sized” tables seven feet long.
“We’re pretty much just pool-oriented,” said Burris. “We want a pool atmosphere. We want to get away from the bar scene. Once they come here once, we have a lot of repeat customers. It’s running pretty well now for just getting it up.”
Burris, a welder in Mineral Point, has been playing pool since he was 9.
“I’m trying to better my life,” he said. “I’m 29 years old; I’m hoping to have it paid off in six years or so.”
The graphics for the pool hall were done by Holliewood Design, owned by Burris’ girlfriend, Hollie Ehorn.
“There’s nothing else around like this,” said Burris. “We’ll be the hub for all the small towns in this area.”