Elite Billiards And Ale House Proves Big Draw For Pool Fans


Last September, Tabetha Jamsek and her husband, Jay, bought a 5,400 square foot building on Price Lane in Clinton, In October, they started converting into a family-oriented sports club where people could play pool, darts and arcade games.
The decision to launch the new business, Elite Billiards, came from Jay, who grew up playing pool in Nevada, but Tabetha wasn’t sure about the idea.
Last Sunday, looking over the pool hall, filled with 100-plus people who were either playing pool or waiting to play, Tabetha said that the success of the endeavor has exceeded their expectations.
“It’s been very humbling,” Tabetha said. “I didn’t realize there was such a need for a pool hall. Now that there is a place to go, people are pulling their sticks out of the closet.
“There is nothing like Elite Billiards in a hundred miles.”
Sunday was the second day of a APA Cash Cup tournament, with the winning team taking home $1,600, split between the team’s eight members.
“What a great day,” said Sharla Taylor, receiving her share of the winnings, “and we get to watch the Chiefs play the Super Bowl.”
Sharla and spouse Nathan Taylor are both on the winning End Zone team. They drove from their home in Hughesville, north of Sedalia, to play in the tournament, which started Saturday. It’s a drive of about 45 minutes to Clinton, Nathan said, with the tournament starting at 10:30 a.m.
“We played 10 games yesterday,” he said. “We didn’t get home until after 1:30 a.m.”
The couple plays at the End Zone, a sports bar in Sedalia, but it only has two tables. It take at least eight tables to hold tournaments, Nathan said. Elite has 13 pool tables, three rows of three and two rows of two tables, plus tables and chairs around the room, where people were eating, watching the games and waiting to play.
“There are lots of tables, lots of food and lots of room,” Sharla said.
“Elite Billiards is the best. I wish we lived closer.”
The End Zone team won the fall session, Nathan said. League play is now into the winter session, with eleven more weeks to go, Tabetha said.
Elite Billiards is starting a juniors league for ages 9 through 15, which will take place on Saturday, she said.
“We already have seven signed up,” Tabetha said.
Elite has leagues every night, except for Friday and Saturday, when they have tournaments, Tabetha said. Elite Billiards is open every day, Tabetha said, from 3 p.m. to midnight on Mondays, 11 a.m. to midnight Tuesdays through Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays 11 a.m .to 1:30 a.m., and Sundays, 11 a.m. to midnight.
The pool hall has a small bar tucked in the back corner, but the serious players don’t drink during a tournament. The food menu ranges from pizza to quesadillas and salads.
“Elite has the best wings in town,” Tabetha said.
Players include all ages, both men and women and couples. Children are welcome before 9 p.m., which people like because they can bring them and enjoy an evening out without hiring a sitter.
On Sunday, Elite hosted ten teams of eight people each.
While the championship game between the Old Farts from Harrisonville and Sedalia’s End Zone team was being resolved, Megan Peterson, executive administrative assistant of the Warsaw Chamber of Commerce, challenged Sarah Gray of Deepwater to a game.
On this chilly Sunday, the feeling is a friendly vibe of people enjoying being inside with friends, enjoying a game of pool.
“It’s become quite the spot,” Tabetha said. “It’s like this every day.”
Nathan said he has been playing pool for 15 years, and is probably the second best player on his team, though he seemed to sink almost every ball he cued up in the tournament’s championship game. He has a pool table at home, he said, and owns two pool sticks, a heavier one to use for breaking and his more expensive stick for playing. It’s worth about $1,500 if you bought it today, he said.
Sharla’s pool stick is not as expensive, she said, but was made by Athena, a company operated by women, and has her name on it. The couple’s first date was at the E Street sports bar in Sedalia, she said, where Nathan was playing in a pool league. He’s been working with her on her pool game since they met.
Nathan said the fact that Clinton is centrally located makes it a draw for people around the area who play pool. Tabetha said they have used Facebook to get the word out about Elite Billiards, and have people come from Nebraska and Oklahoma, as well as Kansas City and Sedalia.
“People see us and want to check us out,” she said.
Elite Billiards and Alehouse is located at 905 Price Lane in Clinton. For more information, go to the Elite Billiards Facebook page.