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SPRINGFIELD, MO.

After a pandemic pause, Billiards of Springfield is back with new owners and the same classic burger

Billiards of Springfield food

Billiards is known for its OG burger and its Hustler Club, a cross between a burger and a club sandwich. 

Billiards of Springfield is back.

The downtown Springfield, Missouri, pool hall opened in 1985 and shuttered in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic began, but it has since reopened with new owners. And there’s good news for longtime fans: The new owners aren’t changing much.

“Why would we? Don’t fix it if it’s not broken,” says Richard Vance, who owns the establishment with his wife, Katie, and friends Luke and Kristen Westerman.

Vance has a long history in the restaurant industry. He owned six McAlister’s Deli locations in Springfield and sold them in 2011 to spend more time with his family and become a restaurant consultant for businesses including Great American Taco Co.

The reopening may take many by surprise, as it happened quickly. The opportunity came about after a single conversation, and it was only 25 days from the time they closed on the property to reopening the restaurant. 

“I didn’t sleep much,” Vance says. “Winter is a slow time for restaurants. I wanted to get open, work out the problems so we are running smoothly by spring.”

The OG burger is the best-seller; it starts with Angus beef cooked on a flat top, but what makes it stand out are the secret seasonings, Vance says. The Hustler Club, a mega mouthful with three slices of Texas toast, a burger on the bottom and classic club on the top, is another house favorite. And for the chili-lovers, Billiards is using the same recipe as the previous owners. The only real change to the menu is the salads: There’s now a chef salad, fried chicken salad and a garden variety, and the dressings are all made in-house. 

There are also 12 beers on tap and 25 in cans or bottles, including some from Springfield Brewing Co. The team is currently working on developing a cocktail menu.

The venue features 16 pool tables, an arcade and darts, but there’s a separate dining area for anyone who wants to enjoy more of a restaurant atmosphere.

Billiards of Springfield is open Monday to Saturday from 11am to 1:30am and Sunday from 11am to midnight. 

Billiards of Springfield, 541 E. St. Louis St., Springfield, Missouri, facebook.com/springfieldbilliards

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