Since 1981, Big John’s Billiards has been the place for billiards in the Omaha area. Sure, other places have come and gone that have offered tables here and there, but Big John’s is the only large place that is a true billiards hall, focusing on the art and skill of cue sports.
“There’s a couple smaller places, but they don’t have our capacity,” says Bill Prout. He stepped into the ownership role last May after his father handed over the reins. Bill was ready and excited to run the place. “I was wanting to build my own way,” he says.
Few changes have been made to Big John’s Billiards over the years, but that’s for good reason: they got it right from the beginning. Bill did add a few new elements to Big John’s Billiards without changing the overall feel of the place. He recently put more of an emphasis on being open during the day for the lunch crowd, adding food and pool specials for those people who venture in on their lunch break. You might even find yourself playing pool for free if you stop in and get lunch.
Food is a big deal at Big John’s Billiards. Try the Wednesday night enchilada special, or swing by Friday night to devour a steak. “More specials are coming,” says Bill. His hope is to soon offer a food special every single night of the week, which is good news for hungry billiards players.
Happy hour is every day from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. It’s a great time to enjoy some food and drinks before the nighttime crowds start showing up, but luckily the space is so large that Big John’s Billiards never really starts to feel too crowded, even when it’s packed full of people. After all, when you offer more than 30 playing tables from which to choose, there’s a good chance everyone will get a chance to play.
What if you don’t really care too much about the food or drinks, but instead really care about playing billiards? Big John’s Billiards offers tournaments every Sunday night, and they’ve proven over the years to be quite popular with both novice and seasoned players alike. “We have a pretty solid, good turnout on Sunday nights,” says Bill.
They also offer a variety of video games, many of which will make you feel nostalgic for the 90’s. Shuffleboard and darts are also available for play. Basically, if you like to have fun, you’re going to get a kick out of this place.
Bill mentions that the colder weather seems to draw more people into Big John’s Billiards, perhaps to escape the cold for a while and enjoy some fun. “Winter is our time to shine,” he say. Bill adds that winter is also the time of year when he gets a lot of requests from businesses wanting to hold their holiday parties there, and Bill’s more than happy to oblige. “We provide a lot of room and we don’t charge for the space,” he says. “We have plenty of seating.”
Folks who need a spot to host meetings also frequently turn to Big John’s Billiards, partly because there’s no charge to hold the meeting there and party because it’s such a fun venue. What better way to conclude a business meeting than by challenging some coworkers to a couple games of pool?
Keep Big John’s Billiards on your radar as they continue to thrive and grow. Bill has some grand plans for the future of Big John’s Billiards, all of which are right in line with the original idea that Omaha needed a place where people could come play billiards, eat good food, and enjoy drinks with their friends.
Big John’s Billiards
9819 M Street
Omaha, NE 68127