Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Pocket Pool Hall Granted License to Sell Beer!

Billiards GraphicMy online billiards buddies sent me an interesting piece of news, everyone! The news comes direct from the North Platte Bulletin! No kidding!

Read on, pool players!

Pool Hall Granted License to Sell Beer

Pool players will now be able to drink beer while playing billiards at The Pocket after the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission granted Ruth Giesenhagen a liquor license. The billiards hall is located at Ninth and Jeffers in the location of the old North Platte Bakery. With the new license, Giesenhagen will be able to serve beer to its customers.

In June 2008, the North Platte City Council forwarded Giesenhagens request for a license to sell beer there to the LCC with no recommendation. Only one council member, Judy Pederson, voted against the recommendation.

The LCC took public comment for up to 10 days before issuing the license and an official said they only heard from one North Platte resident who complained about the pool hall's proximity to Lincoln Elementary School.

It was the second time in a year a license was requested for the controversial location. In September 2007, Robert Shepherd made a similar request to locate a bar in the same location. He said he planned to call it Jiggers.

However, numerous residents from the area complained to the council that the proposed billiards bar would be too close to Lincoln School and some of them noted that there are five other places to buy alcohol within two blocks of the old bakery building.

Thus, the council debated the issue at length before deciding to send Shepherds application on to Lincoln with no recommendation. Council members Harry Spohn, Judy Pederson and Jim Parish voted against sending any recommendation at all on Jiggers application. Ultimately, the LCC unanimously denied the liquor license to Jiggers.

Hobert Rupe, the LCC executive director, said at the time that the commission believed that Shepherd was only a front man for Sue Purdy and Ruth Griesenhagen, who used to run the Flatrock Bar. After eight months, Giesenhagen submitted the license application for the same location. That fact was not lost on the council.

The Pocket is a pool hall that has been open since Jan. 1, 2008. It is open from 2 p.m. to 12 a.m. According to Giesenhagen, there would be no advertisement in the windows and over the pool tables. Moreover, she would offer food and would comply with all city ordinances.

Council member Judy Pederson brought up the other locations that sell alcohol nearby. Council member Larry Lee Britton said those all have off-sale licenses and that no beer could be brought into or out of Giesenhagens pool hall.

Giesenhagen said that everyone wants a beer while playing pool. She said that more than 75% of her customers were 21-years-old or older.

A-Kid: Truth be told, I don’t drink beer while shooting pool. But kudos to the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission for giving The Pocket pool hall a chance to prove itself - a fighting chance! And I kid you not!

"Pool halls - The AnitoKid's home away from home!"

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