BRIDGEPORT — It all started when four Bridgeport correctional officers decided they were driving too far to play a couple of games of pool. That decision led to a plan typed up on a computer, which then led to the opening of a billiards parlor in downtown Bridgeport.

Occupying space in what was once the Citytrust Building, 4 Corners Billiards is adding new life to downtown Bridgeport.

“I fell in love with the game and I got tired of driving so far to play,” Gooden said. “I’d drive to West Haven, Seymour, Waterbury, Southbury. So I thought, what better than to start one?”

4 Corners Billiards has five pool tables that are all nine-foot regulation tables, Gooden said. Within the building there is also a full bar that seats about 15 people and a lounge area that also seats about 15.

“It’s like a home away from home,” Gooden said. “When you’re here, you feel comfortable.”

The facility is a 21-and-over establishment, but Gooden said the crowd ranges from roughly 25- to 70-year-olds, give or take.

Michael Moore, of the Bridgeport Downtown Special Services District, said the entertainment venue will help get people more interested in Bridgeport.

“The billiards hall will add another layer, another option and will make us more attractive to those in the town and in the surrounding towns,” Moore said.

The decision to open the pool hall in downtown Bridgeport wasn’t a hasty one. “We don’t have anything down here anymore,” Gooden said.

Gooden has lived in the area for 35 years and he said they looked at a number of different places around the city. The first location they were considering was on Main Street across from a park.

But once they found Citytrust, they were sold. With exposed brick on the walls, 60-foot ceilings and skylights, Gooden said the location is unique.

“It reminds me of Manhattan,” Gooden said. “It’s not a typical pool hall. You’ll never see another billiards place like this.”

They are looking to expand into the building next door in the near future, once it becomes possible. Gooden said this expansion would allow them to add another five pool tables and an additional lounge area. And there are even more plans down the road.

“I’m not sure when, but sometime in the future, we want to expand and put in a full kitchen,” Gooden said.

The current location gives them the opportunity to make and sell finger foods, but Gooden said they’d like to have a more extensive menu with more options.

The hall is open from 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Thursday, from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturdays and from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Sundays.

“Once you walk into this place, the first thing in your mind is, ‘I’m coming back,’” Gooden said.