Recently opened Hill City Pizza has added a second-floor pool hall to its offerings.
The restaurant on Frazier Avenue in the old Mud Pie restaurant space began operations by selling pizza, burgers, main-dish salads, rotisserie chicken and wraps.
Owners Pete Waddington, John McClellan and Mike Robb have opened the second floor of the historic North Shore building as a smoke-free environment for billiards, beverage and food.
"People kept asking about having a pool hall on the North Shore," Waddington said.
The trio comes to the table with a wealth of restaurant experience.
Waddington opened neighboring Northshore Grille in 2002, followed by Midtown Music Hall in 2007 and Coltrane's in 2009.
McClellan bought into T-Bones in 2002, sold his share in the Southside restaurant and partnered with Robb to open Mike's Hole in the Wall in 2008. Since then, McClellan and Hall have invested in all of Waddington's restaurants.
The partners purchased the building with hopes of "creating a different scene for people on the north side of the river who need to enjoy themselves - watch TV, play pool and throw some darts," McClellan said. So they went to work gutting the interior down to its historic architecture.
Renovations to the first-floor restaurant took less than two weeks. The interior now reveals the old brick walls. Hickory wood floors have replaced fading concrete. Mismatched tables have been replaced with ones made by hand.
It took several months and the removal of four apartments to complete renovations upstairs. The look, though, retains the spirit of the era in which the building was erected, with handsome old brick walls, an exposed ceiling with inset lighting, a bar in the center of the room surrounded by tables.
Seven 52-inch televisions line the walls. Six Olhausen pool tables line one complete side of the space. And a new sprinkler system was installed throughout.
"We thought there's no better use for an upstairs than to add on a pool hall," McClellan said. "It's got a classy look."
In the spring, a roof-top deck will be added to take advantage of the views of the river and bridges surrounding Coolidge Park, Waddington said.