Cochran's and Palace Billiards

demonrho

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For those curious about the later history of Cochran's, I talked today to Limo Bob, one of the ex-owners of Cochran's when it became Hollywood Billiards. He said after the original Cochran's closed Tony Anagonni and Paul Brienza reopened it. Then Jeff Bay, who runs Hollywood Billiards in LA bought it and renamed it Hollywood Billiards. Then Music Mike, Limo Bob, et al bought it and ran it for awhile. The tables were a mix of originals from Cochran's and a bunch of Rebcos from Palace Billiards when it closed. (One with a bronze plaque commemorating it as the "Nine Ball Paul Memorial Table") The original Cochran's was a smaller joint but when it became Hollywood Billiards they expanded into the adjacent offices including the dentist's. After the a losing battle with the local druggies, a new group bought and tried to run it as a night club. They'd stack the tables on top of each other on the weekends to make room for dancing but the fire dept. considered that a no no because of the humungous weight load on the old flooring. Don't know what's become of it now.

As for Palace Billiards, I found a bunch of photos I took back in the late 70s and 80s. Here's one of Filipino Gene in action in Palace Billiards:
http://www.onepocket.org/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=27&stc=1&d=1209896471
 

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SJDinPHX

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A little more please !

A little more please !

Demonrho,

Thanks for your knowledgable update. Could I ask you to pick your own brain and come up with some approximate dates when all this took place ?

Thanks much,

Dick
 

gulfportdoc

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demonrho said:
As for Palace Billiards, I found a bunch of photos I took back in the late 70s and 80s. Here's one of Filipino Gene in action in Palace Billiards:
Great photo of the old Palace! I'd forgot about the theatre seats. Is the viewer looking toward Market St.? I didn't realize that Filipino Gene was ever that young...:D

Doc
 

NH Steve

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gulfportdoc said:
Great photo of the old Palace! I'd forgot about the theatre seats. Is the viewer looking toward Market St.? I didn't realize that Filipino Gene was ever that young...:D

Doc
...and which one is Filipino Gene?
 

demonrho

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Dick Mc Morran said:
Demonrho,
... Could I ask you to pick your own brain and come up with some approximate dates when all this took place ?
Dick

Just picked Limo Bob's brain again. Jeff Bay from Hollywood Billiards in LA took over Cochran's from Tony Annagonni and Paul Brienza in around 1995 and renamed it Hollywood Billiards. Music Mike, Limo Bob, et al bought it from Jeff in 2000. Limo Bob jumped ship in 2002. Music Mike et al held on till 2003 then sold it to two Vietnamese guys who tried to run it as a nightclub on the weekends. They brought in a lot of Vietnamese players and tensions developed with the other Asian players. Some running gun battles took place. Finally the fire department closed them down. Don't know after that. I think the original Cochran's had around 16 or so regular 4.5 x 9s. (Not counting the snooker, etc tables) When Jeff expanded it into the dentist's office and such they ended up with about 36 tables. I think Jeff took the snooker table to LA but never put it back together.
 

demonrho

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gulfportdoc said:
Great photo of the old Palace! I'd forgot about the theatre seats. Is the viewer looking toward Market St.? I didn't realize that Filipino Gene was ever that young...:D

Doc

Yeah, I think the viewer is facing Market St. The billiard tables were in the back and the cafeteria counter is to the right and the front desk and entranceway is far right. I think some of those great old paintings on the wall ended up with some of the Palace tables at Cochran's when Jeff bought it and renamed it Hollywood Billiards. When he sold Hollywood/Cochran's he then took the original Palace wall paintings to LA.
 

gulfportdoc

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Good reporting. Did the Palace close in the late 80's? If you have more pictures, how about posting some more? I like just looking at the old room. Did you notice that Ventura's cue is taller than he?

Doc
 

jay helfert

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I ran into Gene in the Philippines a couple of months ago on my last trip over there. I went to the biggest poker room in town and got into a game. I sat down and someone behind me kept saying Jay. I looked around and it was Gene. He was in the game, just taking a smoke break. :)

He is playing poker every day and making a living at it. He always did play good. I doubt very much if he will return to the states now.
 

Tagletigre

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Palace Billiards SF

Palace Billiards SF

Hi. just discovered this website yesterday. In that foto of Palace Billiards, I think the wall you're looking at was the east wall, toward the foot of Market St. The wall facing Market St. would be to your left.
As I remember it, when you went out the exit door you took a left to go down the stairs to Market.
I have a couple fotos I took in late 1987, from the same vantage point near table 19, showing the same view. I was going to take a whole bunch but managed to get only two fotos before the manager said that some of the guys didnt want to be photographed and so I would have to stop. Next thing I knew the Palace closed.
I'll try to post them here.
demonrho, could you post any other ones you have of the Palace? I'm an artist and am trying to paint some pictures of the Palace if I can get the flavor of the place after all these years.
 

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gulfportdoc

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Tagletigre, correct me if I'm wrong. But, for perspective, as I recall the carom tables were in the back right-hand portion of the room from the entrance. The last time I was there was in the early 70's, and I only played 3C then, but I could be turned around...;)

Doc
 

Island Drive

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I spent a little time there in 1970. Cochrans, if I remember correctly, had a closed entry door harwood tan in color. You had to knock, they had to see you first before your entered. As I walked into the room, on my left there was a black guy selling this older white guy a joint for 75 cents, I remember the guy kept saying ''don't give me no seed man, I don't want No seeds''. There was a park bench he sat on to smoke his joint, with a fan behind him that had to be 4' square. As long as you sat at this bench Next to the exhaust fan, it was acceptable. I also tried my luck with Searcy at the palace, I was only 21 at the time.
 

Tagletigre

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gulfportdoc, in these two fotos from '87, the table in the foreground is of course one of the billiard tables and I think there was another row of them behind me. I used to watch Bud Harris on one of those.
The entrance is seen on the far right opposite the viewer, as demonrho said, I think. I remember that cigarette machine being there.
Against the Market St-facing wall, on your left here, there was a huge table where they played golf and maybe some billiard or snooker tables.
This is all assuming my memory isnt in pieces after all these years.
 

demonrho

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gulfportdoc, in these two fotos from '87, the table in the foreground is of course one of the billiard tables and I think there was another row of them behind me. I used to watch Bud Harris on one of those.
The entrance is seen on the far right opposite the viewer, as demonrho said, I think. I remember that cigarette machine being there.
Against the Market St-facing wall, on your left here, there was a huge table where they played golf and maybe some billiard or snooker tables.
This is all assuming my memory isnt in pieces after all these years.

Your memory matches mine. Thanks for posting these great pics. I'll try and dig up some more I took. Is that "Scratchy" John playing in the red shirt?
 

demonrho

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...I was going to take a whole bunch but managed to get only two fotos before the manager said that some of the guys didnt want to be photographed and so I would have to stop. Next thing I knew the Palace closed....

Yeah, photography in Palace was a no no. So, I put the camera on my lap and pretended to talk to someone while I pointed and silently clicked my Leica and hoped I was aiming right. I had a little experience photographing in dicey paces because I used to take pictures in places full of pimps and prostitutes and dope dealers.
 

Tahoedirt

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Cochran’s

Cochran’s

I spent a little time here in about 66 after the Navy. In fact I met Cole Dickson at the Golden Q in Hayward playing P pool with him and tooth. Cole wasn’t old enough to drive, but we’d pile in a couple cars and head to the city about midnight. Cochran’s was a real pool hall- From Market St, up those wide stairs, thru the doors Remember the Palace across the street. Remember a great match Cole had with Shorty. Great memories- Went back about 90 ? and much different.
 

mr3cushion

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Cocoa Beach, FL
For those curious about the later history of Cochran's, I talked today to Limo Bob, one of the ex-owners of Cochran's when it became Hollywood Billiards. He said after the original Cochran's closed Tony Anagonni and Paul Brienza reopened it. Then Jeff Bay, who runs Hollywood Billiards in LA bought it and renamed it Hollywood Billiards. Then Music Mike, Limo Bob, et al bought it and ran it for awhile. The tables were a mix of originals from Cochran's and a bunch of Rebcos from Palace Billiards when it closed. (One with a bronze plaque commemorating it as the "Nine Ball Paul Memorial Table") The original Cochran's was a smaller joint but when it became Hollywood Billiards they expanded into the adjacent offices including the dentist's. After the a losing battle with the local druggies, a new group bought and tried to run it as a night club. They'd stack the tables on top of each other on the weekends to make room for dancing but the fire dept. considered that a no no because of the humungous weight load on the old flooring. Don't know what's become of it now.

As for Palace Billiards, I found a bunch of photos I took back in the late 70s and 80s. Here's one of Filipino Gene in action in Palace Billiards:
http://www.onepocket.org/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=27&stc=1&d=1209896471

That 3C table He's cleaning, is where I trapped Jimmy Marino when I first arrived in SF in 1970. He went for $1,600 and a mad backer! Also played Ray Tajima, Bill Hynes and the best player around there, Homero Valdespino. When Jimmy saw me about 3 weeks later and heard I had beaten the best player around there, Jimmy went thru the roof about being trapped! Actually, chased me around that 3C table! When i saw him many years later at Allen's EXPO, he still wasn't very pleasant.
 

Henry

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I played at the Palace and Chocrans in the mid 70s. The first time I went to the Palace I played a guy named Shorty 9 ball for $5 a game and after a while I asked him to bet $10 and he replied you want to quit now? I was there for one semester of college where I met Billy Palmer for the first time. We ran around the bay area hustling pool. I loved those pool halls they were just beautiful and they were a remnant of a bygone age. I went back years later and the Palace was closed but Chocrans was open I might have been Hollywood Billiards. I played the Go Away kid some one pocket and barley knew the rules but I shot straight and didn't get robbed but I doubt I won.
 

NH Steve

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Yeah, photography in Palace was a no no. So, I put the camera on my lap and pretended to talk to someone while I pointed and silently clicked my Leica and hoped I was aiming right. I had a little experience photographing in dicey paces because I used to take pictures in places full of pimps and prostitutes and dope dealers.

Fantastic -- thank you for doing that!!! I wish I had taken pool photos earlier. For some reason in the 70's even though I was into pool and had a 35mm camera, I do not remember even considering combining those interests!!
 
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