The Grotto

Welcome to Joe’s Bar and Theater

Pool Table

Big Joe

When I first saw the basement in this house, even though I wasn’t quite sure where the theater would go, I had a good idea that a pool table could fit in this spot. I’ve wanted one since we built our first house over twenty years ago—a small 1,100 foot ranch in the suburbs of Denver that had a large unfinished basement that I had planned to make a sports bar. Sadly, we were transferred to Florida less than a year after moving into that house. And houses in Florida do not have basements, so my dreams of sports, bar, and pool table were put on hold.

In our last house, I was thinking I might be able to fit a table into that basement, but as I drew out plans, I couldn’t find any space that would work, as an eight foot table needs a rather large room, and the widest I could get any room was twelve feet, which couldn’t even fit a seven foot table.

As a substitute, I was tempted to put a foosball table in, but that bar game always needs at least two people, and I didn’t think that either Mary nor Dobry would stay interested in it enough to justify the cost.

With a pool table, I don’t need an opponent, but can shoot a few games by myself, so if Mary or Dobry’s interest wanes, I’ve still got the ability to enjoy it.

We had been looking at used tables at some local games rooms stores, but most of the used tables seemed overpriced for home-use tables. And while we found some very nice new tables, I couldn’t justify spending several thousand dollars (the one I really wanted was $7k) on something that at best, I could expect to sell for maybe a grand if I ever wanted to get rid of it.

At a recent party, one of our guests mentioned that he has friends who were downsizing, and had a pool table that they might be selling. A photo was texted a couple of days later of an older table that I recognized as a Brunswick Monticello II, a very high-quality table made in the mid 70s using the same frame, but different legs, as Brunswick’s top-of-the-line Gold Crown, a table that’s used in professional tournaments around the world. After looking at it in person, we struck a very happy deal.


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