With so many Facebook comments on my recent post about Booche Burgers, I thought Booche’s Billard Hall warranted a blog post.
During the 50s, I lived in Columbia, Missouri, for three years while my husband, Mel, was in law school. With two young children to see after, I spent much of my time at the grocery store or pediatrician’s office. And Mel was busy studying or working a part-time job. There was no time for Booches. Besides, the century old haven for Mizzou students was male-only until 1970.
Established in 1884, its unusual name came from the original owner, Paul Blucher Venable, being called “Booche” by his childhood friend, writer Eugene Field. The 9th street pool hall gained national recognition in 2000, when USA Today placed Booches among the top 25 burger joints in America.
Photos of Mizzou football teams in the early 1900s and St. Louis Cardinal sports memorabilia decorate the walls. Posted witticisms include signs reading: “Unattended children will be sold as slaves,” and “No sniveling,” and “Closed Sundays. See you in church.”
The cheeseburgers traditionally served on waxed paper amid billiard tables still evoke memories from Mizzou graduates and Columbia residents. Reminder: Don’t ask for French fries and don’t try to pay with anything but cold cash.