It looks like downtown Berkeley is going to have a pool hall again.
Paul Revenaugh, the former owner of The Sunny Side Café, and his business partner Jason Kung, have just had use permits approved for their newest project: Draw Billiard Club in the Roos Brothers building on Shattuck Square.
Draw Billiard Club will take over the ground-level restaurant space that formerly housed Morgan’s Café, as well as the 7,896-square-foot basement below. The street-level space will serve as a lounge with food and drink. The basement will comprise approximately 15 pool tables, plus additional bar and restaurant seating.
Draw Billiard Club will be the first dedicated billiards venue in downtown Berkeley since the closure of Thalassa last fall. (Thalassa owner Doug Miller opened a new pool hall, The Tap Haus, on Durant Avenue this May.)
This isn’t Revenaugh and Kung’s first experience with pool cues. The pair opened Broken Rack Billiards in Emeryville in 1998. Revenaugh left Broken Rack in 2004 to open The Sunny Side; Kung stayed on until it re-located in 2013. Once Kung became available for a new project, Revenaugh sold both Sunny Side locations, and the two teamed up to begin working on Draw Billiard Club.
Their latest project, however, be more elaborate than the no-frills Broken Rack. Revenaugh and Kung plan on playing off the historic building’s Art Deco design with a full 1920s theme for the joint. The downstairs billiards room will have a “speakeasy vibe,” complete with prohibition-era cocktails and custom-made “retro” billiard tables. Draw Billiard Club will also carry around six beers on tap and a full bar for whipping up anything else.
On the food side of things, Revenaugh and Kung are planning a menu centered around Chicago deep-dish pizzas. Revenaugh says that the menu will also include grilled Cuban sandwiches, but he also wants to keep things simple. “After owning restaurants for the last 18 years, I am looking for
an austere food program — small and delicious,” he told Nosh in an email.
Food will be available for lunch, dinner and late-night, both in the upstairs lounge and in the billiards basement. Waiters will provide full service to seated tables and the billiards tables.
Revenaugh and Kung hope that Draw Billiard Club will complement the growing food and entertainment scene in the area. They are planning to operate from 11 a.m. until 2 a.m., in order to attract a wide array of customers who may be headed to a show at the Berkeley Rep or getting out of dinner at Comal or Revival, both nearby.
“Our aim is to create an appealing, comfortable and engaging environment that serves downtown professionals, Berkeley residents and Cal students,” they said in the statement submitted to the Zoning Adjustments Board. Said customers will, however, have to be at least 21 years of age.
Revenaugh said that he and Kung “looked exclusively in downtown Berkeley for a location.” The co-owners are both long-time Berkeley residents; they both graduated from Berkeley High School in 1987. “I’m excited about what’s happening downtown,” he said. “There is some development in the works, and Berkeley is seeing long-overdue revitalization. We want to contribute and be a part of it.”
In addition, Revenaugh says, Draw Billiard Club’s use of basement space makes it a truly unique project for downtown. “While much of Downtown Berkeley is being developed upward with new high-rise buildings, we are going ‘underground’ with our enterprise,” he said.
Revenaugh and Kung are currently applying for their building permits and their ABC license; they hope to be open by this December.
Draw Billiard Club will be at 64 Shattuck Sq. (between University Avenue and Addison Street), Berkeley.