Pool hall offers billiards on Philadelphia Street | News

Hanging out and playing pool is often associated with sitting in a bar. However, these establishments are a hindrance to those who are not old enough to spend time there.

Enter Shooterz Pool Hall at 946 Philadelphia St. in Indiana. The company is co-owned by John OHarra and Mike Pennington and is led by John’s wife, Larista OHarra.

“We wanted to provide a family-friendly place for people to hang out and play pool,” said John. “It’s a good clean environment and it’s good clean fun.”

The motivation behind the creation of Shooterz was a love for pool and the will to invest in something.

“We were looking for a while to invest but couldn’t think of anything,” said John. “But we were in Downtown Indiana a few months ago and were looking around when we thought of it. I’ve been playing pool for years and so has my business partner and we had to think. There aren’t really many places for school kids aged 18, 19, 20 to hang out and have something to do. They can’t go to the bars because they’re not allowed to drink, so we wanted to give them this chance.”

Shooterz is currently the only pool hall in the area. John said there’s one in Johnstown and several in Pittsburgh.

“People say it’s a dying sport,” John said. “But that’s because so often you can only see it playing in bars, which limits the number of people who can play it. So unless you are of legal age you cannot play. This is open to people as well as people who may not like the atmosphere of a bar or don’t want or can’t drink.”

Once the idea was formed, some minor issues came into play before opening the business. “We had to add bathrooms to the building to make it right,” Larista said.

John added: “There was a problem with the shipping of the tables. Some parts arrived broken, so we had to wait for replacements. Now that that’s settled, it’s mainly an effort to get people to speak up.”

The business opened on June 17, long before IUP students return to the area for fall classes.

“We wanted to open before the kids got back,” John said. “We’re trying to get a good base of people and customers before they come back so they can help get the news out there. We only made $18 the first day, which was nerve-wracking because you start to think, ‘Did we make a mistake?’ But these things take time and we are excited to build a base before the kids come back and we can welcome them too.”

In the hall are seven tables and three skill machines.

“We have a total of seven tables,” Larista said. “Six of them are standard 8-foot tables, and one of them is 9-foot.”

John said the longer table is a tournament style table and is open to everyone, but can be used by more serious players who are practicing for tournaments.

Shooterz rents out its tables by the hour and charges per table, not per person. Prices are $8 per hour for the 8-foot tables and $10 per hour for the 9-foot table. There is no limit to players per table.

“We don’t care if you bring ten people to play together,” John said.

“I’m originally from Florida and pool halls there often pay per person per hour, but that limits people I guess. I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to keep my prices reasonable for younger customers who may be on a budget.”

The hall does not offer food or drinks, but does have a snack machine. John said he has no interest in entering that realm of opportunity because he doesn’t want to get in the way of other establishments like Wolfie’s or Culpeppers. “We don’t want to be a bar and we certainly don’t want to take on customers.”

Shooterz is open Tuesday through Saturday from 2pm to midnight and on Sundays from 2pm to 10pm.

“We plan to stick to those hours for now,” Larista says. “At the moment we don’t have a big opening planned.”

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