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New pool hall to open in South Washington Street strip mall

Another pool hall soon will be coming to the South Washington Center in Grand Forks. T.J.'s Pool-N-Darts is targeting a June 2 opening in the South Washington Street strip mall. The new business will replace Q Billiards & Lounge, which closed...

Another pool hall soon will be coming to the South Washington Center in Grand Forks.

T.J.'s Pool-N-Darts is targeting a June 2 opening in the South Washington Street strip mall.

The new business will replace Q Billiards & Lounge, which closed last month in the same location.

But co-owner Travis VanSickle is quick to distance his business from Q Billiards and said T.J.'s will be more inclusive than some billiards hangouts.

"What I've been telling people is we're more of a welcoming place," VanSickle said. "We're trying to bring in more people who just want to come in once in a while instead of feeling it's just a place for the regulars to hang out. It will hopefully be a cleaner and more full-service and active business."

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The new business will have 13 pool tables, three dart boards and a few TVs. VanSickle also has received a beer and wine license from the city and plans to also sell pizza and snacks and employ some wait staff.

VanSickle, 34, who will co-own T.J.'s with his wife, Jamie, said they have signed a one-year lease with the mall, which he said can be extended for as many as five years.

VanSickle plans to host pool leagues this summer and tournaments every Saturday. The first tournament, an 8-ball competition, is slated for June 21.

Other activities will include extreme poker and a bean bag game similar to lawn darts.

Other changes to mall

With the addition of T.J.'s, the South Washington Center now is fully leased again.

PEEL'S Salon Services opened in the former Al's Grill & Catering space in the strip mall about two weeks ago.

PEEL'S sells wholesale products to hair salons, but it does not sell to the general public.

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The store is part of a regional chain, which also has locations in Fargo and Bismarck.

Al's Grill & Catering moved from South Washington to a larger location on Gateway Drive about a year ago.

The Lighting Gallery also has expanded into the space next door formerly occupied by AudioCare Hearing Center, which moved to a new location on Columbia Road in January.

With the expansion, The Lighting Gallery has remodeled and added furniture to its offerings.

The mall went through an extensive exterior remodeling last year, and Lachance said some tenants also have taken the initiative to remodel their interiors and purchase new signs.

The strip mall also features tenants Mexican Village, Silver Dollar Pawn Shop, Flower Bug, Ultracuts and a National Guard recruiting office.

"Things are going great," Lachance said. "We're happy with the new look. We have a good mix of tenants."

Schuster covers business. Reach him at (701) 780-1107, by e-mail at rschuster@gfherald.com or view his business blog at www.areavoices.com/bizbuzz .

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