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Ox Billiards bringing snooker and pool to Broadway and Pike

The former boxing gym below the surface of Broadway will become Ox Billiards (Image: CHS)

A new club is set to join the Pike/Pine scene. It will be underground, modern, and maybe a little posh. But Ox Billiards will emphasize a quality you might not find on the dance floors of Capitol Hill: planning, strategy, and self control.

“Snooker is a points game — not every ball can be made. There is a very large defensive component,” Michael Dominguez tells CHS. “It’s all in how you can control the cue ball.”

The new snooker and billiards hall is set to open later this year below ground in the basement of the 1912-built Broadway and Pike building where it will transform a former boxing gym into a new venue filled with four full size snooker tables of mahogany and Chinese Gold and eight more nine-foot pool tables, black-finished and felted in Pro Blue.

 

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Seattle Boxing Gym, formerly the tiny Seattle Boxing Studio, outgrew its longtime Capitol Hill home and, in late 2019, moved to Interbay.

Dominguez says Ox is being designed as both a venue for casual players and a center for those more serious about the games. There will be beer and wine and the all-ages venue will offer open play plus lessons and training opportunities, along with special events like exhibitions and tournaments. For the truly hardcore, Ox will offer memberships that grant players 24-hour access to the club and its array of finely tuned, perfectly spaced tables. Features, by the way, will include heated slate, Dominguez says, to make the balls run smoother and faster.

At the center of it all is a desire to celebrate snooker — and hopefully cash in on rising popularity. “American pool is worldwide,” Dominguez says. “Snooker is worldwide — but not in the U.S.”

(Image: King County)

Ox will join a Capitol Hill with a few remaining tables at the area’s bars plus the offerings at Garage which has continued to offer pool after its 2019 takeover by bowling giant Bowlero. Meanwhile, it will be a 2021 for “sports” in Pike/Pine with the first Seattle location of the Five Iron virtual golf bar chain coming to 11th Ave.

When it opens, hopefully by late summer, Ox Billiards will also be the product of some of that planning, strategy, and self control — but, also, some bull-headed stubbornness. The Ox Billiards name refers to the Year of the Ox, of course, but also the tenacity of Dominguez and his wife Jaime Miller, and business partners Phuc Dang and Christian Youngers.

In 2020, Dominguez proudly opened another pool venue in Pioneer Square. Baize Snookers club opened in February 2020 when the most notable moment about the time was that the grand opening would occur on a Leap Day. A few weeks later, everything changed. Baize did not survive the pandemic.

(Image: Wikipedia/barfisch)

But after a chance discussion with above ground Broadway and Pike tenant Wazhma Samizay at Retail Therapy, Dominguez learned of the opportunity below ground in the boxing gym space and the game, again, was on.

The huge space was a daunting challenge. Ox Billiards will span the basement’s 5,500 square feet. But the massive venue provided Ox the opportunity to stretch out and plan a more pandemic-forward environment with wide spaces between games and room for improvements to make sure the focus is fully on the tables — sound dampening furniture, carpet, curtains. Ox Billiards will be designed by Seattle firm Signal for the world’s greatest players, Dominguez says, but it will also be a place many will play their first game.

“We just want to people to nerd out on billiards,” Dominguez said.

Ox Billiards will open later this year underground at 1432 Broadway. There is no website yet so stay tuned to CHS for updates.

 

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