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Erik Burgess, Published May 27 2013

Billiards on Broadway looking to reopen downtown

FARGO – Downtown Fargo could soon be getting its billiards hall back.

The owner of Billiards on Broadway, which closed about two years ago, is looking to move into the American Legion building, 505 3rd Ave. N.

The billiards hall was at 208 Broadway for more than 20 years before owner Marc Oelslager sold the building to the Kilbourne Group in 2011.

Oelslager told the city’s Liquor Control Board on May 15 that he intends to reopen his pool hall downtown, perhaps within the next six months. He said at the time that the lease at the American Legion building was not finalized, but that the deal was moving in a positive direction.

Oelslager’s liquor license will be discussed tonight by the Fargo City Commission because he should not have been allowed to keep his liquor license without a city-granted extension after Billiards on Broadway closed, city officials say.

City Auditor Steve Sprague said it was a staff “oversight” that allowed Oelslager to keep his license. The city’s Liquor Control Board on May 15 recommended that the City Commission approve a six-month extension for Oelslager’s license.

In a recent letter to the City Commission, Oelslager said he kept up the payments on his liquor license, not knowing that he needed a special license extension after Billiards on Broadway closed.

Kilbourne had planned to include a billiards hall in the refurbished 208 Broadway location, but that project is still not complete, and because of modifications, the space will not be large enough for a billiards hall, Oelslager wrote in his letter to the commission.

Oelslager has not returned calls from The Forum seeking comment.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Erik Burgess at (701) 241-5518