Photography by Jessica Turner.

Ted Brewster Jr. used to stop by O’Riley’s Billiards, Food and Bar in the mornings when he worked for Texas Instruments Incorporated next door.

“My wife, she worked as a waitress and a bartender… when we were dating,” Brewster says. “And then one day I heard (O’Riley’s) was for sale and I just asked her, ‘You want to buy it?’ And she was like, ‘Yeah,’ so we did.”

It’s been 18 years since then, and O’Riley’s is keeping up with its regulars from 7 a.m.-2 a.m. every day but Sunday.

“That’s because of the law,” says Brewster, who’s lived in Lakewood for 25 years. On Sundays, they open at 11 a.m.

Most nights of the week, there’s some kind of event taking place at O’Riley’s on Forest Lane: Sundays are for pool competitions; Mondays are for karaoke; Tuesdays are for open mics. On Fridays and Saturdays, O’Riley’s hosts three live bands a night, starting at 8:30. For the days when there are no mic’d up tunes, a jukebox is always available.

On open mic and band nights, any level singer or player is welcome to step on stage.

“I have a reputation for a long time that I let all bands play here. All new bands come through here pretty much. I let everybody play,” he says.

Signing up to play is just as relaxed. Brewster advertises his phone number and an online calendar. If there’s a spot open, a single call will get a band signed up.

His wife, Karina mans the door on live performance nights. Those walking in indicate which band they’re showing up for, so she can tally up how the cover should be distributed. The bands receive the complete cover at the end of the night, split by those tallies.

For those just looking for a drink or food, there’s no cover.

O’Riley’s food menu is a little on the smaller side. In the way of appetizers and snacks, it has mini cheeseburgers and queso, chips and salsa. But the real winner that keeps everyone coming back is sub sandwiches.

“You wouldn’t even believe how many sandwiches we sell,” Brewster says.

And regarding the short menu, he believes that’s the way to do it.

“They’re really good. I mean, it’s a big old hoagie,” he says. “Like I tell everybody, ‘If you only serve one thing, you better be damn good.’”

Hoagies are served hot with a choice of roast beef, turkey or ham, plus cheese, lettuce, tomato, mayo, mustard and a pickle spear. Sliced pickles and jalapeños are available upon request.

If you’re lucky, you’ll come across a coupon for a buy-one-get-one sandwich. Brewster never paid for the coupons and hasn’t ever been able to figure out how they got there, but he always honors them.

It’s been like that since he can remember. He’s had just about the same nine staff members since opening. He and his wife do whatever is needed of them on a daily basis, and family friend and manager Kelly Yanko takes care of any office work.

“We’re like family here,” Brewster says. “It’s a nice little group we got.”

While O’Riley’s was closed during COVID-19, Brewster made renovations. The bar got upgrades, including new sets of LED lights, and the stage received a full makeover.

Anyone 21 and older is welcome to come check out O’Riley’s upgrades and weekly events, and to say “hi” to the Brewsters.

“We’ve managed to run this place and raise three kids doing it,” Brewster says. “Believe it or not.”

O’Riley’s Billiards, Food and Bar: 8989 Forest Lane, 972.235.2781

For those just looking for a drink or food, there’s no cover.

O’Riley’s food menu is a little on the smaller side. In the way of appetizers and snacks, it has mini cheeseburgers and queso, chips and salsa. But the real winner that keeps everyone coming back is sub sandwiches.

“You wouldn’t even believe how many sandwiches we sell,” Brewster says.

And regarding the short menu, he believes that’s the way to do it.

“They’re really good. I mean, it’s a big old hoagie,” he says. “Like I tell everybody, ‘If you only serve one thing, you better be damn good.’”

Hoagies are served hot with a choice of roast beef, turkey or ham, plus cheese, lettuce, tomato, mayo, mustard and a pickle spear. Sliced pickles and jalapeños are available upon request.

If you’re lucky, you’ll come across a coupon for a buy-one-get-one sandwich. Brewster never paid for the coupons and hasn’t ever been able to figure out how they got there, but he always honors them.

It’s been like that since he can remember. He’s had just about the same nine staff members since opening. He and his wife do whatever is needed of them on a daily basis, and family friend and manager Kelly Yanko takes care of any office work.

“We’re like family here,” Brewster says. “It’s a nice little group we got.”

While O’Riley’s was closed during COVID-19, Brewster made renovations. The bar got upgrades, including new sets of LED lights, and the stage received a full makeover.

Anyone 21 and older is welcome to come check out O’Riley’s upgrades and weekly events, and to say “hi” to the Brewsters.

“We’ve managed to run this place and raise three kids doing it,” Brewster says. “Believe it or not.”

O’Riley’s Billiards, Food and Bar: 8989 Forest Lane, 972.235.2781


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