A NEW sports bar focusing on pool and football has opened at the Ozone leisure park in Oxford.

Salli Merola, the owner of the bar, is hoping Oxford United fans will make it their favoured watering hole on match days.

J’s Sports Bar opened at the weekend and the sign over the door says J’s Sports Bar: The Fourth Stand, a tribute to the U’s three-sided Kassam Stadium.

As well as eight English pool tables there are two American pool tables, three snooker tables and –from February – a Chinese 8 Ball pool table will also be available.

Mum-of-three Ms Merola said U’s fans visited the bar before and after their New Year’s Day home game against MK Dons, which they won 3-1.

Ms Merola, 51, said: “The bar also has a seven-metre big screen showing Sky Sports and BT Sport, which we think will be popular with football fans and all sports fans.

“The bar is above Frankie and Benny’s restaurant and we have spent four months fitting it out – there has been an investment of about £140,000.”

Ms Merola took up pool three years ago and plays for the England ladies team while her son Frankie plays for England under-23s.

She added: “Pool is a growing sport for ladies and I got started when the Oxford Ladies team were short of a player.

“I visited Malta in November for the Nations Cup and I love the game.”

Ms Merola said the bar would be the home of Oxfordshire County Pool.

As well as lager brewed by Molson Coors, and Strongbow cider, food will also be available, including all-day breakfasts, hotdogs, burgers, pies and chips.

Ms Merola added: “We think our prices will be competitive – our cooked breakfast costs £6.”

The pool player said the new bar’s facilities were laid out over 4,500 sq ft.

She added: “It was a significant investment and we are pleased with the result.

“We hope Oxford United fans and all visitors to the Ozone like it – we think it’s a very good addition to what is on offer at the Ozone.

“Pool competitions will take place here and we can also hire out the venue for private functions and parties.”

Oxford United fans have a choice of bars and venues in and around the Kassam Stadium but Ms Merola is hoping they make J’s their regular.

Fans would regularly gather at the Grade II* listed Priory pub near the stadium until it closed in 2013.

The building in Grenoble Road is listed by English Heritage and, along with the adjoining land, is owned by the city council and leased to Firoka, the company which owns the Kassam Stadium.

It is understood the lease has about 45 years left to run.