A downtown Springfield institution is calling it quits, forcing a new cornerstone in the local comedy scene to hit the street.
Billiards of Springfield announced their closure today on Facebook. The bar and pool hall has been on the corner of Kimbrough and St. Louis for 35 years.
“We are grateful to have been a part of your weekend plans, entertainment options, and life events,” Billiards ownership posted on Facebook. “I don’t feel this Facebook post will be an adequate expression of my personal appreciation for the experiences I’ve had, nor could I express the gratitude the ownership and I have for amazing staff members that have graced us with their skills over the years.”
The closing of Billiards brings a new challenge to the Blue Room Comedy Club, the comedy club that has been bringing in national touring comedians while giving local talent the chance to refine their abilities.
Club owner Christopher Richele told OI that the club is going to continue.
“Blue Room Comedy Club is in the second phase of our expedition,” Richele told OI. “We’re going to enjoy the summer break and then find our new location. It might be a cohabitating situation like we had with Billiards or we might find our own space.”
Richele was adamant that the club will be back.
“We’re going to keep providing comedy for this community because right now this community needs to laugh,” Richele said.
Nationally touring comedian Reena Calm told OI that Blue Room is an important place.
“The Blue Room is the kind of club that makes you feel like not only is comedy thriving, but also that a community can build something so special,” Calm said. “Speaking of community, it will truly be a crime if Billiards shuts down and Softails survives!”
“I’m gonna cherish my memories in that room and look forward to the next location,” Calm continued. “I performed there before it even was the Blue Room, so I’m certain if anyone knows how to do this best, it’s Christopher Richele.”