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Bakers Billiards Not Open
Bakers at this time is not open. Several of the bay area players were hoping to see it open again. Billiards Stakehorse, and prior Derby Cue owner, T.R. McIntosh was trying to get the lease and it didn't go thru. He was telling me he sure wanted it but it didn't happen. One of the oldest of Florida billiard halls is in limbo. Wayne and I will sure miss it as well as many other players around the world will too.
Bakers is conveniently located at 1811 N. Tampa Street (corner of 7th and Tampa), in Downtown Tampa, Florida, right next to Historic Y'bor City, the heart of the cigar making industry of Tampa.
Estalished in 1942, Bakers is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, continuously operated pool halls in the United States. Believe it or not, Mr. Angus Baker originally opened this business as a Barber Shop. It was quite successful but the one problem he had was keeping the good barbers. Not really knowing what to do, he decided to put in a pool table. Ironically enough, the barbers stayed around longer as they really liked playing pool. Even more interesting were the men that would come by and play, whether they were there to get a haircut or to just pass the time. Well, that meant that the little corner Barber Shop with the fellow named Shine that would shine your shoes just had to expand just a bit....and it did. Mr. Baker decided that maybe he should also provide all of these folks with some food and drinks, and sure enough that was a hit too.
As a matter of a fact, this Fine Establishment was such a success that tournaments began taking place at Bakers. Next thing you know, Mr. Baker had tournaments going that attracted players such as Steve Mizerak, Willie Mosconi, Steve Cook, Buddy Hall, New York Blackie, Mike Sigel, Earl Strickland, Keith McKready, and too many others to count. Take a look at some of the rare photographs that have been collected and treasured over the years that show the great legends that have played pool at Bakers.
Part of the services included the cue shop. Master cuemakers that were there included
Rico, Wayne Gunn, and Larry LaRue.
Two youngsters that often played pool at the local YMCA were at one point told to go
and play pool with the "Big Boys" at Bakers because they had already outsmarted everyone on the pool table at the "Y." These two are
Several years later after Angus Baker passed away it was owned by someone else and was in bad need of repair. Naturally Vince couldn't stand for this and mortgaged everthing he had and bought it. He just couldn't let Baker's go by the wayside....
Vince got everything working again. The tournaments which made Bakers so famous began again. Robby bought it from Vince and keeps the action going with several tournaments for the player's too many league's having there games there also. If your in Tampa you don't want to miss playing at Bakers.
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