ELY — One by one, pool players entered Deans club, rested their cue-stick cases against the bar and ordered pints of beer.

Then with a pint in one hand and their metal case secured in the other, they headed toward the club’s top attraction — the billiard tables.

Pool shark Ian Aldous proceeded downstairs to one of the club’s three English billiard tables, where he practiced for an upcoming tournament among friends playing at another table.

In his Belgian accent, Boguslow Szewczuk instructed his friend, Tatiana Utkova, on how to play billiards on the last table. An American-style billiard table and a foosball table sat alone in the same room. In an upstairs room sat four snooker tables that were also ready to be played on a recent Monday night.

“Basically, we are Ely’s sports bar,” Matt Barnes, manager of Deans, said.

He boasted about the club’s live sports on its two big TV screens, which will become very popular during the World Cup.

“This will definitely be the place to be for the World Cup,” he said.

Deans will set up another bar for the soccer games to keep up with the demand from thirsty fans, he said.

England’s first game will be against Paraguay on June 10. Barnes said that the club would be showing other games as well, including the United States’ battle for the cup.

Because of its membership policy, the club will be able to be selective during the games, keeping soccer hooligans at bay.

“We can make sure we got nice people coming in here,” he said.

To become a Deans member is as easy as filling out a form.

“We’re a members’ club, but membership is free,” Barnes said. “Once you fill in a form, it’s like a regular pub.”

The club has a membership policy based on its liquor license, he added.

Besides the World Cup, Barnes said the club tends to be crowded on the weekends, too.

“It’s a good place to start on a Friday and Saturday night,” he said.

If the club’s parking lot is full, two hours of free parking are available behind Deans in the Waitrose grocery store parking lot.

As always, if you drink, do so responsibly. Don’t drink and drive.


Location: 62 Newnham St., across from the High Flyer Hotel near Ely’s city center.

Drinks: Six different beers on tap, a standard liquor collection, and a variety of bottled beers and flavored alcoholic beverages.

Food: Burgers, chicken wings, sandwiches, chips and other pub grub items from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Ambience: The club has eight pool tables of English-, American- and snooker-style billiards. Snooker costs 6 pounds an hour, while the other tables are 70 pence per game. A foosball table costs 50 pence.

Service: Quick.

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