Bears Bowling to re-open in Ipswich soon as Bears Pool & Snooker Club

Robbie Williams outside Bears. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Robbie Williams outside Bears. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The former Bears Bowling bar in Ipswich is set to be re-opened as a dedicated pool and snooker club this month.

Building work going on at Bear's Bowling in Ipswich. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Building work going on at Bear's Bowling in Ipswich. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The venue in Star Lane, Ipswich, closed in October last year, after being run by Felixstowe arcade owner Charlie Manning.

After putting together a proposal for it to become a dedicated pool and snooker club, new owner Robbie Williams’ bid was accepted and work began on Thursday last week.

“I am just over the moon,” the 57-year-old from Ipswich said.

“I can’t believe how quickly we are going but we are hoping it will be the place for pool and snooker in Ipswich, there will be coaching for juniors and anyone else that wants to come in and play pool.”

Robbie Williams on the top level, which will be renovated after the ground floor has opened. Pictur

Robbie Williams on the top level, which will be renovated after the ground floor has opened. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN


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The new venue will feature four English tables, two American nine-ball tables, two English eight-ball tables and five dart boards downstairs, with a further three snooker tables and two nine-ball tables set to be put in upstairs.

If revamp work continues to go on target, Bears Pool & Snooker will be open on the weekend of July 29 and 30, initially just downstairs while the upstairs overhaul continues.

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Mr Williams has a rich history in Ipswich’s pool and snooker scene – including having played at county level – as well as in its nighttime economy, having run various venues in town.

“I used to own Premier Pool and Snooker Club in Ipswich and I used to own the Drum and Monkey which had six pool tables where the county pool players would play,” he said.

“I have been involved for years and I have known most of the pool and snooker players for years, so I hope to have the big competitions back here.”

Mr Williams has already tempted back Ned Acton and Phil Cullingford – two coaches he worked with at premier who supported dozens of players, including 25 who went on to play for England, who will be running sessions for juniors when the club is up and running.

“We had the top junior county team in the country so we want to get back the boys who are going to do coaching on the weekends,” Mr Williams said.

“In the East Anglia region we had the top regional ladies, men’s A team and juniors teams for years, but we are now losing that because there is nowhere for the coaching and playing, so we want to try to bring that back.”

Visit the venue’s Facebook page for latest updates.

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