EVERETT — It took two years to set up the shot.
After a lengthy search for new digs, Golden Fleece Billiards, a Seattle transplant, found a sweet spot — downtown Everett.
The billiards hall opened its doors this summer at 2929 Colby Ave., in the building that housed the former Majestic Cafe.
Fleece owner Dave Bersenadze plans to open a restaurant and bar in September.
In the meantime there are plenty of open tables — $5 per person per hour, he said.
“Pool is happening now,” said Bersenadze, who opened the first Golden Fleece 11 years ago in Kenmore.
“We’ve invested about $800,000 to purchase the building and establish the business,” he said.
As business ramps up, he plans to hire about 20 workers.
The Kenmore billiards hall relocated to Seattle’s Lake City neighborhood in 2013.
But when area rents shot up, Bersenadze felt it was time to make a clean break.
“We got tired of leasing and being priced out,” he said. “We decided this time we wanted to buy a building.”
“We looked all over the state. We even looked abroad in Germany and Japan,” Bersenadze said.
When a deal that would have kept them in Seattle fell through, they turned to the feds in December.
Cue the U.S. Small Business Administration, which helped them find the building on Colby Avenue, vacant since 2015.
“They got us in touch with the right people,” Bersenadze said.
At 9,000 square feet, the Everett location is more than two times larger than the former Seattle location.
“We were in the right place at the right time,” he said.
Bersenadze and his new partners, Kim Jones and Vance Richardson, have been moving furniture and fixtures to make room for, and illuminate, seven 9-foot Diamond Pro tables and five 7-foot Diamond Pros.
The main floor’s massive wooden bar and tin ceiling stay put, said Jones.
But deciding whether to keep the existing color scheme — burgundy, gold and brown stripes — is still in play.
Bersenadze brought his collection of pen-and-ink drawings and oil paintings to create a gallery-like effect on the main floor.
“It’s a work in progress,” said Jones, the resident ace.
In 2009, Jones became the first African-American woman to compete in billiards for a world title.
Taught to shoot pool by her father and uncle when she was 7, she was one of seven USA women who qualified for the Women’s World 10-ball Championship.
From 2007 to 2012, she toured with the Women’s Professional Billiards Association, winning five grand master women’s events.
If you want to stop “breaking bad,” stop by — she gives lessons.
Downstairs, which houses six pool tables, there are plans to open a pro shop that repairs cues and sells T-shirts and pool accessories.
When the bar opens, the Fleece will be age 21 and over. But the trio expect in the future to host junior events for minors, and league play.
The restaurant will seat about 100 and serve American-style food with a Louisiana Cajun twist, Richardson said.
Jambalaya, wings and crab cakes will be menu staples, Richardson said.
“You won’t have to go to Seattle or Bellevue to enjoy a game of pool,” Richardson said.
On a recent evening, Dave Moore, a Kenmore resident, was visiting with pal Dan Hillcrest of Burlington. “It’s nice to get this going,” Moore said. “I’ll be up here a couple times a week.”
The Fleece will continue its tradition of hosting international tournaments and traveling teams.
The owners hope to partner with local businesses and provide discounts to Everett theater-goers and other local groups.
“We fought hard for this place. We’re here to stay,” Bersenadze said.
Janice Podsada; email@example.com; 425-339-3097; Twitter: JanicePods