Secret Alexandria pool hall attracts world’s top players

It looks like a typical office building along South Whiting Street in Alexandria, Virginia, but inside is a secret pool hall where the world’s top players come to practice.

It looks like a typical office building along South Whiting Street in Alexandria, Virginia, but inside is a secret pool hall where the world’s top players come to practice.

WTOP/Nick Iannelli

Street Lights Billiards Academy, which is billed as “the first and only private billiards academy on the East Coast,” has attracted some of the most famous and highest-ranked pool players in the US as well as top players from Russia, Poland, Germany and the Philippines.

WTOP/Nick Iannelli

It’s the place where Jayson Shaw made 669 shots in a row back in January, setting a world record for the most consecutive pool shots ever made, according to the Billiard Congress of America.

WTOP/Nick Iannelli

It looks like a typical office building along South Whiting Street in Alexandria, Virginia, but inside is a secret pool hall where the world's top players come to practice.

It looks like a typical office building along South Whiting Street in Alexandria, Virginia, but inside is a secret pool hall where the world’s top players come to practice.

WTOP/Nick Iannelli

First opened in 2020 when the pandemic led to bars and public pool halls shutting down, the private, members-only pool hall quickly gained a reputation as a place where professional players could gather and play anytime, day or night.

WTOP/Nick Iannelli


Some of the best pool players visit a secret pool hall in Alexandria, Virginia, WTOP’s Nick Iannelli reports

It looks like a typical office building along South Whiting Street in Alexandria, Virginia, but inside is a secret pool hall where the world’s top players come to practice.

Street Lights Billiards Academy, which is billed as “the first and only private billiards academy on the East Coast,” has attracted some of the most famous and highest-ranked pool players in the US as well as top players from Russia, Poland, Germany and the Philippines.



“It’s kind of a different atmosphere when you come in here,” said Jayson Shaw, who is currently ranked among the best pool players globally. “I really enjoy it because it feels like a private club.”

It’s also the place where Shaw made 669 shots in a row back in January, setting a world record for the most consecutive pool shots ever made, according to the Billiard Congress of America. The previous record was 626 shots.

“I was just playing off determination and wasn’t really thinking too much,” Shaw said.

He had been shooting pool for several days straight, and eventually Shaw said he just couldn’t miss.

“It was wild,” he said. “I had blisters all over my hands.”

First opened in 2020 when the pandemic led to bars and public pool halls shutting down, the private, members-only pool hall quickly gained a reputation as a place where professional players could gather and play anytime, day or night.

“I wanted to create a nice environment with professional tables that are kept in the best condition and have an open-door policy for all the pros that come through town,” said owner Deon Chapman.

There are numerous professional tournaments in Virginia and along the East Coast every year, drawing players from around the nation and from all corners of the world.

“They have to pass by here, so they just stop here now,” Chapman said.

Bobby Chamberlain, one of the pool hall’s members, said “there can’t be anything better” for professional players looking for strong competition.

“All the champions have stopped here and the ones who haven’t will be coming,” Chamberlain said. “It’s just a matter of time — the word has gotten out.”

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