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Martial Arts Studio Owner Opens Bar for Pool, Darts Lovers

William Winkler has turned two passions into a career. The owner of World Martial Arts Academy on Watson Road recently opened a billiards and darts bar called Pints & Rails--and it's right next door.

Crestwood resident William Winkler opened the World Martial Arts Academy more than 20 years ago, and last month he introduced his latest venture to residents: a billiards and darts-focused bar called Pints & Rails at 8920 Watson Rd.

Winkler said he and his wife, Suzanne, have been members of pool leagues for a decade. When his league’s favorite venue closed down, they transitioned to a traveling league. But he wanted to offer teams a new, regular hangout in the St. Louis area.

There was just one hitch: running the martial arts studio is a full-time job, so the bar had to be close by. He settled on a storefront next door to his studio in the Hillside Village Center. The bar opened Sept. 13 (and their official sign went up Tuesday). Winkler's still working to schedule an official grand opening.

The opening was a long time coming. Despite gaining the approval of the city's Board of Aldermen in January, Winkler said attaining permits from St. Louis County took longer than expected. Once those cleared in mid-July, it was a matter of two months before the new space was set up. 

Winkler is working to start in-house pool and darts leagues, in addition to encouraging existing leagues to see how they like his new spot.

"I want to get leagues to start coming here, instead of having to travel like we have the last couple years," Winkler said. He also hopes it’s a space where novice players can feel comfortable working on their skills.

Anyone interested in joining a league can call the bar at 314-849-7665.

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