Billiards Coming to Speedwell Ave.
Business would feature six pool tables and small coffee/sandwich bar.
While everyone's cooling off in the water this steamy summer, a different kind of pool is expected to come to town by the fall.
The Planning Board approved on Thursday night a coin-operated six-table billiard hall at 147 Speedwell Ave., to be owned and maintained by fellow Planning Board member Hector Cardona.
Cardona, who recused himself from the vote, presented to the rest of the Planning Board members his plan for the billiard hall, which also would include a small coffee and sandwich bar, in the 1,400 square-foot space currently occupied by Costamar, a travel service.
It would be the return of a long-ago staple from High Street, now Cattano Avenue, that several Planning Board members recalled attending.
"It's important we have an activity like this in town," member Timothy Murphy said. "It gives people an outlet."
Still, with billiards could come the potential for illegal gambling, which several Planning Board members told Cardona he would need to keep an eye on. "It was an issue back then," Murphy said.
Other conditions for the business included not allowing any outside food or beverages, including alcohol, and making sure all of the lights in the parking lot were functioning by the time the business opened.
Cardona said he intended for the billiard hall to be a family establishment. He pledged to have 25 cameras installed, 20 inside and five outside, to monitor for any concerns.
"At this point there is nothing there for families," Cardona said. "I was looking at that area for bringing other options, not another bar or restaurant. I wanted to see what the community could use and benefit from."
Mayor Tim Dougherty, who sits on the Planning Board, said he expected the billiard hall to be a successful business venture, "because you're a good businessman."
Planning Board member Michael Pooler was particularly excited about the return of billiards to Morristown. "I love to play pool," he said. "I will definitely be there."