Golden Cue out of shots
Billiards club owner says lease expires soon and he has not been given a chance to renew
Steamboat Springs — Golden Cue Billiards’ lease is expiring soon, and the bar and pool hall’s owner said he isn’t being given the chance to renew it.
“I’m losing my lease after 20 years,” said John Hoekstra, who will be forced to close his bar in the Dream Island Mobile Home Park. “They’re shutting me down.”
A Dream Island Mobile Home Park manager said she could not comment on the issue.
Hoekstra said he was told his lease is not being renewed because mobile home park managers complained about the noise his customers make while smoking outside the bar. The Steamboat Springs City Council passed a smoking ordinance in July 2005 that bans smoking in all restaurants and bars, among other places. Hoekstra said he has lost about 30 percent of his business because people can no longer smoke inside.
“I’ve got no place for people to smoke now,” Hoekstra said.
He said he has put up signs requesting that customers remain quiet when smoking outside the bar.
“I asked them (to) keep it quiet, my lease depends on it, but then sometimes they don’t think,” Hoekstra said.
His five-year lease ends Jan. 1, but Hoekstra hopes Dream Island management will allow him to stay through June so pool leagues can finish. Doing so will allow local players to become eligible for the national tournament in Las Vegas. Many local players have money invested in the American Poolplayers Association league games played at the bar on Sunday, Monday and Thursday nights, he said.
“You’ve got 50 pool players and regular working people that like to socialize, come down to socialize and play pool and play in the leagues and have friendly competition,” Hoekstra said. “It’s gone. A lot of them have said when I close down, they’re not going to play pool anymore.”
Pool was the reason Hoekstra opened the bar.
He was a dairy farmer in Longmont for 42 years before moving to Steamboat. Once here, he worked a couple of different jobs before opening the bar.
“I said that if I found the right place I wanted to give people a place to play pool,” Hoekstra said.
Golden Cue Billiards opened on Dec. 27, 1986.
He describes the bar as similar to Cheers, a bar depicted in the popular TV series of the same name.
“Most everybody in here knows everybody,” he said. “We don’t have fights or any problems because people show respect for my business and my place,” he said.
Hoekstra has no plans to find a new location for the Golden Cue.
“I’m too old to start over,” Hoekstra said. “Hell, I’m 71 years old.”
He said he will miss the bar, the customers and his employees, but that he can’t let the bitter ending bother him.
“That’s not good for the heart,” he said. “Life goes on. I’m a survivor.”
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