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History

HISTORY

Robertson Billiards & Spas has been family-owned and operated in Tampa since 1930. Started out across from the University of Tampa as a pool that operated for almost 20 years. In the 50s the world-famous (now closed) Bakers billiards opened in Tampa Heights. Bakers opened with full indoor Air Conditioning. Baker's air-conditioned pool hall put the original Robertson’s Billiards out of business. T.E. Robertson; had a young family at the time, but couldn't hold back his passion for pool. Around the time this Tampa’s first Ford dealership was growing rapidly, their original building was across the street from Bakers and came up for sale. T.E. bought the building and set up a pool table, jukebox, and cigarette machine vending service for bars and restaurants. At that time he also sold supplies like cues, cloth, and parts.

In the early 70s Charlie Robertson, T.E.’s only son who had been working with him since he was a child took over the business. Charlie grew up working on pool tables in Tampa. Once he took over the business he decided to set up his own pool table factory building custom pool tables for homes, bars, & pool halls. His bigger professional goal was to try to establish some standardization in the billiard industry. There were big issues and debates in the billiard community at the time about nuanced issues like how big a playfield should be, how wide, and what angles pool table pockets should be cut. What shape, size and angles prefabricated billiard cushions should be. Charlie being a people person and networker managed to partner with leaders in the industry both players and manufacturers. With them, he was a founding member of the still operating Billiard Congress of America. The BCA leadership was in key positions all around the country to create the template of what Billiards actually is. They standardized wear tear components like rail rubber, pockets, slate, and dimensions. They also set up standardized rules and published rule books and tournament guidelines. The rule endeavor was slightly less successful. House rules, and many leagues play pool slightly differently than BCA guidelines today.

In the very late 80s, Charlie was ready to retire, Robertson Billiard supplies moved on to Charlie's only child Debi and her husband Thom Rodgers. Debi had worked periodically with her Dad as well as owned a hair salon and a small real estate business. Thom, her husband had been an entrepreneur and most of his business had him going across the country. Thom & Debi bought the business from Charlie in 1990. Thom Rodgers ran the store and grew the business in and out of state. He also expanded the business to include home game room furniture like bars, Bar Stools, Air Hockey, Foosball, ping pong, and more. The business and factory were running great until 2004 when the factory had a devastating fire. Luckily the factory was not attached to the main store so the fire didn't totally destroy the business. Thom quickly regrouped and brought in bigger factories from around the country to meet our obligations to customers and continue bringing billiards to the Tampa area. To this day we still sell top-quality billiard tables from the people that bailed us out of our fire. Big brands like Brunswick, American Heritage, Golden West, A.E. Schmidt billiards, and more. Thom retired in 2006.

Thomas & Debi’s oldest children Alana & Stephen had been working in the business as teenagers and started working full time after high school. They continued working with Debi until she retired in 2015. Alana & Stephen wanted to grow the business as well and quickly began work expanding our internet business shipping home game room products all over the world. In 2016 we expanded again moving into the hot tub business. We were able to use our awesome customer service record and great industry references to secure the biggest brands in the hot tub business. We currently sell Jacuzzi and Caldera alongside all our great home game room brands.