There was much hullabaloo back in August when news first broke that 72-year-old pool hall and dive bar Melrose Billiards would be closing temporarily and changing hands, with M.L. Rose and The Sutler owner Austin Ray and his A. Ray Hospitality Group taking the reins. Soon after, Ray penned an open letter to help allay any fears that drastic changes were coming to the well-worn dive. Well last night saw the official reopening of Melrose Billiard Parlor, and it looks as though those fears should be able to be put to rest.
The place has gotten a spit polish, along with some needed building updates, and a round of revamped tables and games, including three oversized 9-foot regulation pool tables, two 8-foot regulation tables, ping pong, shuffleboard, darts, foosball, Golden Tee and tabletop video trivia.
The beverage and food menus are appropriately straightforward, offering a full bar with 12 beers on tap. The small kitchen menu (see below) ticks the box of dive bar staples, including chili cheese fries, Frito pie and a double cheeseburger, along with on-the-house popcorn. They will also have weekly specials, including free pool all day on Tuesdays and half off beer, wine and well drinks all day on Wednesdays.
And for all those worried about no longer being able to walk away from a night there smelling like a chimney, smoking is indeed permitted after 10 p.m.
Something that definitely has changed with the space is the new ability to now walk between Melrose Billiard Parlor and The Cellar at The Sutler through an open hallway.
Hours are 4 p.m. to 3 a.m. daily, so if you happen to stop by, do let us know your first impressions in the comments or via the tipline.