Belmont Billiards has new set of operators: ‘We’re trying to just breathe some life back into it’

Belmont Billiards, an iconic bar on Watervliet Avenue in Dayton with nearly 100 years of history, has a new set of operators committed to honoring and building upon its legacy.

Jacqui Creepingbear and Isaac DeLamatre, a couple with extensive experience working in area bars and restaurants, are ready to rebrand and relaunch Belmont Billiards. They envision the venue as a welcoming and inclusive bar with a regional billiards environment, late night food service and skillfully crafted classic and original cocktails.

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

“We have been coming here for years and just love the place,” Creepingbear said. “It has 100 years of history as a community gathering space. We have always seen its potential and we are excited to continue the long story that is Belmont Billiards.”

Bruce Goodman, a longtime owner of Belmont Billiards, previously told this news outlet that the bar started in 1925 as a tobacco and candy shop in what was then Van Buren Township.

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He said the shop became a local hangout for men and they had eventually persuaded the owner to add a pool table, in which it grew from there. Liquor was added soon after prohibition was lifted in 1933. It remained a men’s only club until 1979 due to only having one restroom.

Goodman said he and his brother Gerald “Gary” Goodman, who has since passed away, bought the business in November 1998.

DeLamatre told this news outlet that as far as he knows, the bar has never stopped operating. He said they received the keys in late August and ceased operation for a few days before reopening on Sept. 1.

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

“We just want people to feel welcomed here,” DeLamatre said. “We’re trying to just breath some life back into it.”

Belmont Billiards features a 20-seat bar with nine pool tables. DeLamatre said they specialize in classic cocktails, like the Old Fashioned, Manhattan and Daiquiri, but prepared in a classic way. He explained they make their own syrups and mixes. Belmont Billiards also has a variety of shooters and specialty beer cocktails.

“We feel like we can offer something that’s very high quality, very unique at a very accessible price,” DeLamatre said.

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The operators described the vibe of the bar as laidback, warm and welcoming. DeLamatre said if you are someone that likes to meet new people, the bar is setup for conversation.

“Bars like this always rely on the neighborhood,” DeLamatre said. “Anybody that lives within walking distance – we’re your bar. And we want to maintain that, but I really see this bar as a Dayton bar and a destination.”

The couple plans to renovate the pool hall and bar, reopen the kitchen and expand food offerings, create a lounge and introduce live music/DJ nights, sponsor a home billiards team, and offer tournaments.

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

“A bar like this is something I look forward to every day,” DeLamatre said. “It serves the community. It’s a gathering place.”

Belmont Billiards, located at 820 Watervliet Avenue in Dayton, is open 5 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The bar has happy hour pricing from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday on domestic beers and well liquors. Service Industry night is Tuesday featuring $3 Pacifico Lager and $3 well tequila.

For more information, visit Belmont Billiards’ Facebook or Instagram pages.

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