Co-conspirators and 40-year friends, developer Ken Wolf and Gerard Ensinas quietly opened Gerard’s Pool Hall, a two-story watering hole with seven rosewood regulation-sized pool tables, Friday, June 23. The partners – Wolf, owns the building at 1306 26th St. and Ensinas, who will serve as general manager of the new venue – conceived of the project last August, joining forces to open the Victorian-inspired lounge.
The goal of Gerard’s isn’t to be “trendy,” Ensinas says, but instead to serve as a gathering space with an old-world atmosphere. The Denver native, former antique dealer and seasoned pool player, describes the 3,000-square-foot space as a “museum,” with collections of framed black-and-white photographs of famous pool players and saloons covering the upstairs walls. Ensinas purchased the main floor pool tables on Ebay and restored them himself with new felt tops and a bronze finish. Customers can enjoy speciality cocktails, including the Dutch Double, with gin, lavender syrup and fresh lemon, or the Heart of the Pocket, with tequila, sherry and lime, while overlooking the competition.
Though Gerard’s does not have a kitchen, guests won’t go hungry, with Denver Central Market’s Vero Italian, SK Provisions, and nearby Sushi-Rama partnering to provide select menus to hungry players. Ensinas says his team will have walkie-talkies to call in orders from around the neighborhood.
“The whole block is in on it,” he says.
Gerard’s grand opening will is scheduled for the end of July, and the venue’s first fundraiser will take place in October with the Central City Opera. Pool leagues and regional tournaments are expected to quickly appear on the venue’s social calendar