CATLIN – Bill Willett received approval from the village board Tuesday to open his proposed nonalcoholic club, the Catlin Break Room. Now he just has to work out some final details, like the opening date, the times and days of operation, what will be served and if the facility will be open to the public at all times or open only to members during certain hours.
"This is a new idea for us," Willett said, referring to the family members and friends who are helping him get the facility off the ground.
The Catlin Break Room is at the northeast corner of Sandusky and Commercial streets, in the building that had housed Toby's restaurant, the Harvest Moon and most recently the Jagged Edge Salon.
Willett said he and a half-dozen of his family members and friends enjoy playing pool, but not necessarily in bars. He also said there are a number of teenagers in town who might enjoy having a place to hang out and play pool, cards and games.
The Catlin Break Room will have three pool tables, four video games and four card tables. A coffee-maker will be set up for patrons, Willett said, and doughnuts, a soda machine and a vending machine with snacks might be added later.
Willett said the place will be open from 3 p.m. to midnight six or seven days a week at first, but those hours might change.
"I plan to seek some feedback from customers," he said.
The facility will be open to the public in the afternoons and early evenings and perhaps later in the evenings. Or possibly it will be open only to members 18 and older who have paid a $25 to $50 annual fee. In any event, it will not allow alcohol consumption.
"Even if we don't make any money from it, at least we will have a place to go and play pool," he said.
Mayor Clay Woodard said he was glad to hear of Willett's plans – both because it would provide something for teens and adults to do in the afternoons and evenings, and because it provides a use for a vacant downtown building.
The Catlin Break Room will have to pay a $25 license fee to the village each year for each pool table, billiard table and electronic machine it operates, but that fee will be prorated the first year depending on the opening date.
In other business, the board voted to purchase $25 gift cards from the Catlin IGA for each of the village's 13 full- and part-time employees.