Business Directory

W. Keating Pool Parlor

McKay Company Commercial Photography / 1911
Location: 414 Travis

Judging from the crowd, it looks like W. Keating’s was a hot spot for Houston’s men to gather and play some pool in 1911. While this entire photo has plenty to unpack, there are some interesting signs on the wall that may be difficult to see unless you zoom in.

First, on the right is a sign that says “No Gambling.” I have some doubts about how strictly that one was enforced.

“No Gambling” sign on the right side of the wall

On the left, are two signs that stand out. The first being the prices:


  • 2 cues — 5 cents
  • 3 or 4 cues — 10 cents
  • 5 or 6 cues — 15 cents

Next to that sign is another one that says: “No minors allowed in the hall.”

Pool prices and the “No minors allowed” sign on the left wall

Lastly, my personal favorite is this one: “If You Can’t PAY Don’t Play!”

Today, the formerly bustling block filled with businesses, lodging, and shops is unrecognizable.

The One Market Square garage occupies half of the block where this pool parlor, and many other businesses, once stood. The other half is now a parking lot.