Statewide smoking ban and high operating cost pegged as reason by owners
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/01/2012 -- The Break Room closed its doors in late September after the owners decided that the cost of operating, overall economic climate and statewide bar smoking ban would make business too difficult to continue.
The Break Room, formerly Club North, was located along Plainfield Avenue and had been a steady business in the area for some time.
“It was like, ‘hey, we’ve got to quit kidding ourselves here.’ We just can’t survive,” said Norman Wright of Jenison, manager of the 1359 Plainfield Ave. NE establishment.
The Break Room was a pool-league friendly spot that opened in 2005, with multiple tables, two full bars, and several rooms. While the bar was not a thriving revenue-turner, it did yield good crowds for its league play and tournaments, according to Wright.
People stopped spending the same amount on entertainment, he said.
“We’d see the same number of people but not the same sales volume.”
The owners decided it was time to pick up shop after consistently falling into the red through fall. Twelve part- and full-time employees are not without jobs following the closing.
“Wishful thinking is one thing, but reality can be unpleasant,” he said. “It’s a bitter pill to swallow.”
A lack of youth interest in the sport of billiards was also partially to blame for the lacking overall numbers for the company. Wright stated that high school-aged kids had an interest in pool in decades past, but that was no longer the case. Anazeh Sands stated that “in the era of video games, [kids] don’t have to leave their house.”
However, the pool hall was only part of The Break Room’s potential pull. The establishment had a full front bar and held live music. Unfortunately for the owners, the space never truly caught on, and the attempts at private gatherings and promotions did not work either.
Adding to the difficulty of bringing people in was the state law that banned cigarette smoking in 2010 in establishments like bars. Pool league players are notorious for smoking, and general spent a good amount of time playing and smoking in The Break Room, Wright stated.
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