LOGAN SQUARE — A pool hall and bar offering craft cocktails and desserts in jars has opened on Fullerton Avenue in Logan Square.
Surge Billiards has taken over the former Saki record shop at 3716 W. Fullerton Ave. The spot opened to the public Oct. 14.
It’s the third pool hall for husband-and-wife team Wahib Merchant and Kareeshma Ali, who run locations in Albany Park and Edgewater.
Surge Logan Square has 11 pool tables, a 30-seat bar and an event space in back. Unlike Surge in Albany Park, which is also a coffee bar, the Logan Square pool hall will focus on desserts. The plan is to roll out a dessert menu in the coming weeks, Merchant said.
Former Publican pastry chef Erika Chan is crafting the dessert menu. Folks can expect tiramisu, strawberry shortcake, chocolate mousse and other desserts served in jars, as well as cream puffs and candied nuts, Merchant said.
The pool hall is serving an array of craft cocktails, including an old fashioned made with Metropolis Coffee cold brew, beer, wine and cheese boards. Merchant said they aim to offer more small bites soon.
To start, Surge Logan Square is operating at 40 percent indoor capacity per the state’s coronavirus restrictions. Merchant and Ali are having their employees sanitize the pool tables, pool cues and triangle racks between each use, and pool tables are spaced 6 feet apart.
Merchant and Ali bought the Logan Square building last summer and went through the long process of securing zoning approval and city permits to open a pool hall there.
The coronavirus pandemic threw a curve at the couple’s plans. Merchant said construction ended up taking a lot longer than anticipated, but they were able to stay on track despite the public health and economic challenges.
“Not knowing the length of the pandemic, we had to be optimistic as much as we could,” he said.
Now that the pool hall is open, Merchant and Ali are focused on building a vibrant business, one they hope will be a “social hub” once it’s safe for people to gather. They aim to host small parties, fundraisers and other events in the space in back, Merchant said.
“Similar to our other location what we really … look to do is just become a part of the community,” Merchant said.
“The ideal is to have a space that adds to the community’s vibrancy .. have a place in the neighborhood that [neighbors] can feel at ease, especially right now.”
Surge Billiards is open 3 p.m.-1 a.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.- 1 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
Subscribe to Block Club Chicago. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.