While Chicago’s been besieged with news of dart, shuffleboard, and arcade bars, Wahib Merchant wants to remind the city of the original alternative to traditional bar life: the pool hall. After running Pressure Billiards & Cafe for 11 years at 6318 N. Clark Street in Edgewater, he plans on opening a second pool hall, Surge Coffee Bar & Billiards, around Thanksgiving at 3241 W. Montrose Avenue. Merchant’s crew started a gut/rehab of the space in March, adding a kitchen and giving the room an all-day cafe/sports bar feel. Albany Parkers know the address as where Marie’s Golden Cue operated for 48 years.
Merchant wants to fit into the same sphere as ping pong bars and others in this new batch of recreational venues where customers socialize, eat, and drink while playing games. He’s excited that Surge will feature 14 Brunswick Crown V pool tables, a 20-seat bar, and room for about 40 more seats inside a 6,000-square-foot space. During the day they’ll serve pastries and Metropolis coffee and shift to beer and cocktails at night. While Marie’s served a frozen pizza puff or two Surge has a full kitchen with a menu similar to what Merchant offers at Pressure: wings, burgers, and a spread of familiar fried bar appetizers.
Source: Eater Chicago