Econ 919 — Bringing billiards back
When a chance rolled around to reopen a pool hall on the Kenai Spur Highway, Brant Feather took his shot.
The Kenai chef owns two food trucks on the central peninsula – Diluvium Culinaire and D.C. Big Boys – which he’s incorporating into his new business, D.C.’s Side Pockets. The Kenai pool hall opened this week.
Feather said he hopes to fill a niche that has been left empty since a predecessor, Sharps, closed several years back. But he says he was originally eying a different space altogether.
Brant Feather: First, I inquired about the old Katinas restaurant. And so after spending some time looking at the building and looking at the old restaurant — realizing that that was probably more of a project than what I wanted to take on — we decided that we wanted to try to open the pool hall.
Also, I think I spent three, maybe four years whenever I was 16 — probably from the ages of 16 to 20 — in a pool hall in Missouri that was called Karrie and Joey's Pool Hall in Mexico, Mo. where I spent a lot of my teen years growing up And I fell in love with it. It was $5 a day to go inside and shoot pool all day long. You could come and go as you want.
And they didn't serve a whole lot of food — like french fries and stuff that they could do in an air fryer.
So I that's how I kind of got the idea, it’s just something I wanted to do for a really long time.
So I talked with the lady that rents the unit next door here, and she gave me the number of the owners. And just kind of went from there and we hit it off and we came in and we've done a ton of work.
KDLL: What was here before?
BF: So before us, Set Free Church was here. And before them — I know that another couple had opened up Sharps Billiards for the second time.
I don't know the full history of the place, but I know that Sharps Billiards I know the original owner. He actually reached out to us on Facebook. His name was Philip Brower and he’d done all the woodwork in here and pretty much made it into what it was. And I know it was featured a billiards magazine, I think maybe in 2008.
So I was in here one time when it was Sharps. One time I got to shoot pool here. And that was it. And then I never seen it really open again after that.
KDLL: What do you like about the game of pool?
BF: It's challenging. It's a lot of math. I think math was my best subject in school.
And I personally like the atmosphere. I like older-style music – 70s, 80s music. And I think that that went hand in hand with playing pool.
And most of the time you go shoot pool in a bar. I haven't seen very many pool halls that you could just go to and you could play pool. And this that's why we kind of opened up this one. It’s like, we can come here, we can play pool, shoot pool, without any alcohol or anything. And the whole the whole family can come.
KDLL: How does the food situation work?
BF: You come in, we have a menu that you can look at in here, and we pretty much order it from in here to out in the food truck. And the food truck delivers it to in here.
We don't have a DEC approved kitchen inside the building. But we already owned two trailers that are fully DEC approved and we have all of our permits for Kenai. So we figured, why not park our kitchen outside and bring our food to the inside?
KDLL: How much is it for a table?
BF: It varies. For a single game it’s $1.50. If you want to play anything more than a single game — like you can come in, order a burger and play one game of pool. Get your burger and then leave, if that's what you wish to do.
Or if you want to rent a table by the hour — for two people it’s $17 for the hour to play as much pool as you can play for that whole hour.
Feather said he’s bringing in a Jukebox and some arcade games to add to the two rows of adult- and kids- sized pool tables. He said he hopes the space can be a place for competitive youth leagues to come play, too.