Jonathan Ryan is owner of Prudhoe Snooker Club, situated above Front Street.
We chatted to him about the business and his future goals...

Snooker loopy! – Jonathan Ryan, Prudhoe Snooker Club

Jonathan Ryan runs Prudhoe Snooker Club, based in one of the upper units on Front Street. He tells us why the club is not your typical noisy sports bar.

When our Andrea and photographer Gavin visited Prudhoe Snooker Club for our photoshoot, it was an instant trip back to his younger days for Gav, who used to play there himself.

We chatted with owner Jonathan Ryan about the club, who plays there and his future plans.

PB: How long has the snooker club been on Front Street? JR: It’s been here for over 40 years and I’ve had it for five. We’re based above Wor Local and our entrance is between there and Sophistikaty’s.

PB: Is the club open to the public or members only? JR: We’re open to everyone and membership is available to get reduced rates on table time.

PB: Looking at your Facebook page, the club seems to be busy – do you mainly get customers who play for fun or are most players serious about the sport? JR: It’s a wide range of players of all abilities, from those who just want to have a go, or are just starting out, to those who play all the time, but generally it’s for the love of the game and most are not too serious.

We’re an authentic snooker club, not a noisy sports bar. A lot of customers come here as they were sick of the noise in other venues and we now have people travel from as far as Durham, Haltwhistle and Jarrow..

PB: You trailed opening extra hours some weekday mornings in March and extended into April – how has that gone? JR: It’s gone really well so the extra hours will go into a third month during May, so you can now come along Mondays and Thursdays 11am to 2pm. We’ll keep reviewing it and if we remain busy then we’ll keep doing it.

PB: That’s a running theme in this issue – ‘use it or lose it’ and why we need to support physical businesses. What can your current customers do to support the snooker club? JR: Follow us on social media to promote the club. Share photos and tag us in them, and leave reviews wherever you can because they help other customers but they also help our rankings on social media and Google too.

PB: What would you say are the main benefits of playing at the club as opposed to at a pub? JR: You don’t get much value going to pubs to play. Here it’s quiet and perfect for a feel of getting something for your money.

Also it can be the start of a new hobby and there’s a feel good factor about playing snooker in a room full of others who are playing, not playing in a pub where people are propping up the bar next to you.

PB: What’s the age range of your members? Are younger people still taking up snooker? JR: They definitely are and we’ve had loads of new members signed up over the last three years.

Customers of all ages use the club and we had a few ten-year-olds start playing a few years ago and it’s great seeing them now at quite a good standard.

Families coming together is also on the increase and the Pool room is ideal for your own bit of space. That can be booked out, which again is ideal for families who might feel a bit on edge with kids in a pub. Here they can have their own space to have fun.

PB: What drinks do you serve? JR: Cans and bottles, spirits and soft drinks are available We also have a small selection of hot food, toasties, chips hotdogs with a range of snacks like crisps and chocolate bars.

PB: What are your plans for the future? JR: I’d like to start coaching budding young players and start a kids club too, as it’s great seeing people come in as youngsters and develop into really good players!

PB: Do you have any personal snooker heroes? JR: I’d say Paul Hunter, Ronnie O’Sullivan, John Higgins.

"I'd like to start coaching budding young players and start a kids club too, as it's great seeing people come in as youngsters and develop into really good players!"