[ Login ]   [ Register ]

‘Servant to the game’ set to open downtown pool hall

Michael Thompson August 15, 2014 1
Jim Gottier started playing pool as a teenager and will soon open his first pool hall in the John Marshall building downtown. Photos by Michael Thompson.

Jim Gottier started playing pool as a teenager and will soon open his first pool hall in the John Marshall building downtown. Photos by Michael Thompson.

Taking some cues from the past, the newest commercial tenant at the Residences at the John Marshall is ready to break into the downtown market.

Greenleaf’s Pool Room, a restaurant, bar and pool hall, is set to open Aug. 23 at 100 N. 6th St. on the ground floor of the John Marshall hotel building.

Jim Gottier – who owns Greenleaf’s with his wife Andrea Ball – knows his way around a pool table.

Gottier, 59, is a former antique textile dealer who  started playing pool hustling in California halls as a teenager. In 2009, he placed ninth at the World’s 14.1 Straight Pool Championship in New York.

“I’ve quit pool off and on over the years,” Gottier said. “I’m a bitter servant to the game. I always come back.”

Greenleaf's has 13 pool tables brought from a shut-down Chicago pool hall.

Greenleaf’s has 13 pool tables bought from a shut-down Chicago pool hall.

Gottier said he and Ball spent $650,000 to open Greenleaf’s. They also got help with renovations from Dominion Realty Partners, the firm that redeveloped and owns the John Marshall building. Gottier and Ball have a 10-year lease on the 5,400-square-foot space.

Gottier said renovations began eight months ago. Richmond-based Conquest Moncure & Dunn was the general contractor. Gottier and Ball designed the space.

Greenleaf’s has a bar and dining area and a space for 13 pool tables that came from a pool hall near Chicago that went out of business. Some of the space’s fixtures are made of slate from old pool tables.

“I wanted to do something that reflected the pool room of the past that I like so much,” Gottier said. “We got a historical space, which is what we wanted.”

In another nod to the sport’s history, Gottier named his new establishment after Ralph Greenleaf, a world champion pool player in the 1920s and ‘30s.

Greenleaf’s shares the John Marshall’s first-floor retail space with the John Marshall Barber Shop, caterer Homemades by Suzzane, and Dominion Realty Partners.

Greenleaf's sits on the ground floor of the John Marshall hotel building.

Greenleaf’s sits on the ground floor of the John Marshall hotel building.

John Marshall property manager Wendy McLeod said 99 percent of the building’s residential space is leased. The 16-story building has 238 apartment units.

Pool at Greenleaf’s will cost $14 an hour for up to four players. The pool hall will be open Tuesday through Saturday between 11 a.m. and 2 a.m. On Sunday and Monday, Greenleaf’s will be open between noon and midnight.

Gottier expects some players will come to Greenleaf’s during the day when the rates are discounted. In the evenings, he said he hopes to attract the happy-hour crowd, league players, and service industry workers looking to unwind.

“The great part about a pool hall is that it comes in waves throughout the day,” Gottier said of foot traffic.

Greenleaf’s won’t be without some competition. Other area pool halls include Sharky’s Bar and Billiards in Innsbrook and Diamond Billiards on Midlothian Turnpike.

Print Friendly and PDF

Editor's Picks

One Comment »

  1. Matt Dolan August 18, 2014 at 7:50 am - Reply

    Looks Awesome! Way to go Jim! I can’t wait to get down there and check out the new place!

Leave A Response »

Please use your real, full name (first and last) and a valid email address to foster a more civil discussion. Comments without first and last name may not be approved.


We encourage active participation in our online community, but we reserve the right to remove any off topic or inappropriate comments.