Shootin’ Sticks: Brownsville pool hall reopens today
After nine months of waiting, pool players will finally get the chance to hit some balls during The Billiard Room’s reopening at 5 p.m. today at 2104 Central Blvd. in Brownsville.
Earlier this year, the business closed for a major remodeling project that took months to complete.
The Billiard Room opened its doors on Feb. 2, 1973 when founder Joe De La Rosa and his wife, Frances, turned a portion of the former Olive Electric Co. building into Brownsville’s pool hall.
“ When we started, we were the very first ones in the Valley with this type of business,” Frances De La Rosa said. “My husband felt very strongly with it being a family-type environment, so we could have the younger kids involved in a safe and good place for them to have fun.”
This year marks 45 years that the local, family-operated business has served the Brownsville community.
Frances De La Rosa, who has run the place since its opening, said the pool still has its six original Steepleton tables.
Fast-forwarding to 2018, not much has changed as far as the De La Rosa family working together to keep Joe De La Rosa’s legacy alive.
After the pool hall suffered from an electrical wiring issue early in January, the De La Rosa family faced the challenge of what to do with the business.
“ We had to make a decision,” Carlos De La Rosa, Joe’s and Frances’ son, said. “Do we continue? Do we close? What do we do? We talked about it with my mom and wife and we said, ‘Look, this is a great place for the city. We can’t let the city down by closing and striping people from the opportunity to have a nice place to go.’”
Although it took a while, the family was able to keep Joe De La Rosa’s dream alive, which was to provide a place for family entertainment in Brownsville to include quality billiard tables, video games and a snack bar.
The tradition of the De La Rosa family members helping in the business was given a new layer as Carlos and Anna De La Rosa’s children, Adrian, Larissa and Julian, now run the pool hall’s social media accounts to keep in touch with the community.
“ Since I was younger, I would always come to hang out with my grandma,” Larissa De La Rosa said. “From there, I enjoyed seeing people come in and share stories with her; some had left and come back. It’s really nice to see people coming back and enjoying their time here.”
The Billiard Room’s business hours are from 5 p.m. to midnight Mondays through Thursdays; 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays; 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturdays; and 3 p.m. to midnight Sundays.
Rates for pool hall are $10 an hour Mondays through Thursdays; $12 an hour Fridays through Saturdays; and $9 an hour on Sundays.