Archer's Place, Marietta Ga...??

iusedtoberich

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Simple answer to a long question. You still can be successful in owning and operating a poolroom or sports bar if you know what you're doing. Being a good player is not a prerequisite.

I have a vision of a billiards super store, kind of like Bass Pro Shops for outdoors types. It would be both a first class poolroom and a billiard supply. There could be separate areas for pool tables, cues, and even cue repairs. You could offer a full range of equipment from starter level gear to high end merchandise. Of course, an eating area and bar would be on the playing side. I'm probably talking a 500K investment to build it out but you would have something sustainable that could turn a healthy profit if run right. Just an idea, that's all.
I don't know.... In the 90's, you could open a dump pool room and it would have a waiting list on the weekends, and good business on the weekdays. And the really good rooms would also have a waitlist on the weekdays. Fast forward to 2010, and 80% of those rooms all closed up. And the really well managed ones are barely surviving. Its a whole different world than it was in 1990. This is my personal experience playing pool in Philly from about 1992 to the present.

Pool as a business is super hard today, no matter prior pool experience, or general business experience.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
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I don't know.... In the 90's, you could open a dump pool room and it would have a waiting list on the weekends, and good business on the weekdays. And the really good rooms would also have a waitlist on the weekdays. Fast forward to 2010, and 80% of those rooms all closed up. And the really well managed ones are barely surviving. Its a whole different world than it was in 1990. This is my personal experience playing pool in Philly from about 1992 to the present.

Pool as a business is super hard today, no matter prior pool experience, or general business experience.

You're probably right. But I've seen several up and downs in the Pool world during the last fifty years. The boom in the 60's that carried over into the mid 70's The long slump until the mid 80's when TCOM came out and another boom in upscale rooms for the next ten to fifteen years. The 2000's (and the internet age) has been marked by a gradual (but steady) decline in the poolroom business. Somehow I think we may see a new surge in the 2020's.
 

PoolPlayer4

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IIRC most of the $$ for Freezer's came from an old friend of Scott's back in Iowa. Lenny was the GM i'm pretty sure.
If you are referring to Freezer's Ice House in Phoenix, it was still there a year ago, and the web site is still up right now. I was there I believe it was late in 2019 and Danny Smith and Scott Frost played some streamed one pocket sets from there. You're right about the source of the $$.

Update: The address for Mill's Modern Social and Freezer's is the same, so I think I stand corrected. Do you know when this changed? It may have been around the Mosconi Cup in 2019 I was there. I can't remember if I drove down from Las Vegas after Mosconi or the exact circumstance. I traveled quite a bit that year. But Lenny was running things and Scott was there playing Danny. I talked to Jason about it in Iowa after that. Do you know if this is permanent? The Freezer's web site says "Closed due to COVID-19," which could be taken to suggest it will change back after covid.
 
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garczar

AzB Silver Member
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If you are referring to Freezer's Ice House in Phoenix, it was still there a year ago, and the web site is still up right now. I was there I believe it was late in 2019 and Danny Smith and Scott Frost played some streamed one pocket sets from there. You're right about the source of the $$.
Its not Freezers anymore. Its called 'Mills Modern Social'
 

Dead Money

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You're probably right. But I've seen several up and downs in the Pool world during the last fifty years. The boom in the 60's that carried over into the mid 70's The long slump until the mid 80's when TCOM came out and another boom in upscale rooms for the next ten to fifteen years. The 2000's (and the internet age) has been marked by a gradual (but steady) decline in the poolroom business. Somehow I think we may see a new surge in the 2020's.
It is possible. People have been under house arrest for a year now. I think there is pent up demand for many things. Pool bowling, dance clubs you name it.
 

SJpilot

AzB Silver Member
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I don't know.... In the 90's, you could open a dump pool room and it would have a waiting list on the weekends, and good business on the weekdays. And the really good rooms would also have a waitlist on the weekdays. Fast forward to 2010, and 80% of those rooms all closed up. And the really well managed ones are barely surviving. Its a whole different world than it was in 1990. This is my personal experience playing pool in Philly from about 1992 to the present.

Pool as a business is super hard today, no matter prior pool experience, or general business experience.
Those good times for room owners for sure. Can't say anything about the city, but I was in middle school in bucks County in the late 90's. There was a pool room in Warrington that had a bunch of gold crowns. We'd wait an hour or 2 to get a table on the weekend. If we had someone with a car though we'd go to Fuscos. I think they were open til 4 then and the byo aspect appealed to the young uns. I wish I paid more attention to my game back then, there were some great players in that room for sure. Probably could have learned something.

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
 

Matt_24

AzB Silver Member
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I don't know.... In the 90's, you could open a dump pool room and it would have a waiting list on the weekends, and good business on the weekdays. And the really good rooms would also have a waitlist on the weekdays. Fast forward to 2010, and 80% of those rooms all closed up. And the really well managed ones are barely surviving. Its a whole different world than it was in 1990. This is my personal experience playing pool in Philly from about 1992 to the present.

Pool as a business is super hard today, no matter prior pool experience, or general business experience.
I grew up in Nashville. In the 90s - just within miles of my house there was SNOOKERS out by Hickory Hollow Mall, There were several "GAMELANDS" all around (I think Harding Place exit off of either 40 or 24,....forgive me, it's been 20+ years) there were three pool rooms on or just off of Nolensville Road. And there was The Billiard Store. Then of course JOBs was about 25 minutes away down Briley Parkway. Any one of these rooms were always pretty busy in those days.
 

maha

from way back when
Silver Member
most businesses are way down now. but soon it will go way up. the smart business people will capitalize on it and make plenty and those that just return to the old ways will slowly go down the drain.

a business has to change constantly with the changing times. customers change what and how they want for entertainment. you have to supply that. it isnt hard, it just takes extra work and some looking forward.
 
ive seen the rows of cues in cases in poolrooms. but what ive never seen is, as people are looking at the cues in the cases, an employee coming over and talking to them and opening the case and showing the cues.
I remember saving up enough money to get myself a Balabushka (not original of course) in the late 80's, being caught up in COM and a Mizerak book. I got cash out of the bank and drove up to a Billiards shop, not a poolhall. I was probably around 19-20. I told the guy working that I was there to buy a Balabushka and could I see them. He wouldn't let me. He snapped at me and said I don't hand cues like that to boys unless they will definitely buy, or some similar nonsense. Now I was clean cut and went in with a friend. My friend said he's got the money with him, he just needs to check them out and decide which one he's going to buy. He still wouldn't do it. Finally I just pulled out a wad of cash and said here's the money that your store won't be getting. We stormed out and I ended up ordering one from somewhere else.
 

mikemosconi

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Over the past 52 years that I have been in billiard rooms around the U.S. I can say there is one main reason that the rooms disappeared- they were not managed properly. In every pool boom that I experienced- over 80% of those opening rooms did so without really knowing what it takes to run a successful business.
Some of the biggest issues that I saw that contributed to the demise of most pool rooms included: absentee ownership, poor equipment maintenance, allowing the wrong element to dominate the room, not providing proper customer service to everyone that walked into the room, not building youth and league programs properly to assure continuous attendance beyond the casual and the hard nosed players, not holding tournaments with regularity, fairness, and/or concern for the average working person in terms of tournament times and hours, not balancing the room priorities between the real players and those that attended for social reasons- be it a bar/ music or just fun in general - so that all feel welcome and enjoy.

Most rooms that survived the 60s 70s and beyond or started in the late 80s to 90s and had a long run got many of these things right consistently- unfortunately that 10 to 15% was far too small a group. Fading interest in pool had a lot to do with the way most rooms have been managed - way more, I feel than just the fading interest from the latest pool movie. I hope if the resurgence that folks hope for does occur, that this next tier of room owners do a much better job of looking for longevity instead of the quick buck.
 
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cueman

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A few weeks ago I drove past the place Johnny was supposed to open in May in Cartersville. It was no where close to finished inside. But had a banner out front saying future home of the Legendary Johhny Archers Place. I drove by again this week and the banner was gone and there were little posters in the windows asking for cooks and waitresses. The inside still looks gutted with no drywall on the walls. Does anyone know if he anandoned the project?
 

garczar

AzB Silver Member
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A few weeks ago I drove past the place Johnny was supposed to open in May in Cartersville. It was no where close to finished inside. But had a banner out front saying future home of the Legendary Johhny Archers Place. I drove by again this week and the banner was gone and there were little posters in the windows asking for cooks and waitresses. The inside still looks gutted with no drywall on the walls. Does anyone know if he anandoned the project?
Based on what i've put together from his FB page they're saying June sometime. That probably means July/August. I think Rodney M. is a partner in the deal.
 

Banger

AzB Silver Member
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A few weeks ago I drove past the place Johnny was supposed to open in May in Cartersville. It was no where close to finished inside. But had a banner out front saying future home of the Legendary Johhny Archers Place. I drove by again this week and the banner was gone and there were little posters in the windows asking for cooks and waitresses. The inside still looks gutted with no drywall on the walls. Does anyone know if he anandoned the project?
I grew up in the Atlanta area, but it's been nearly 40 years since I left. Is there something going on up in Cartersville now? I know Atlanta has grown a lot, but Cartersville used to be sort of "out in the sticks". If running a pool hall in Marietta is tough, then making a go of it up in Cartersville would seem impossible. I can't imagine anyone from Atlanta (especially anyone not living on the north side) saying: "Hey, let's go up to Cartersville after work, and shoot some pool". Anyway, I wish him well.
 

ChrisinNC

AzB Silver Member
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I grew up in the Atlanta area, but it's been nearly 40 years since I left. Is there something going on up in Cartersville now? I know Atlanta has grown a lot, but Cartersville used to be sort of "out in the sticks". If running a pool hall in Marietta is tough, then making a go of it up in Cartersville would seem impossible. I can't imagine anyone from Atlanta (especially anyone not living on the north side) saying: "Hey, let's go up to Cartersville after work, and shoot some pool". Anyway, I wish him well.
Yeah, 40+ miles north of Atlanta / 25 miles north of Marietta doesn’t seem like an ideal location.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
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Yeah, 40+ miles north of Atlanta / 25 miles north of Marietta doesn’t seem like an ideal location.
My own research was that 90% of your business came from within a 3-5 mile radius of your location. I would always want to be in a population center, preferably 25,000 people or more living within that area. You only need a few hundred regular customers to support a nice room. Then there are the people who only come in once every month or so. That'll work!

My feeling is that in today's marketplace to be successful you need to create a unique ambience. Something that makes it stand out from an ordinary bar or poolroom. In other words give your place a theme. My first poolroom decades ago was totally sports themed with giant pictures on the walls of famous athletes, like Wilt Chamberlin, Jerry West, Jimmy Connors, Willie Mays, Bobby Hull, Arnold Palmer, Henry Aaron etc. I had sports memorabilia hanging on the walls as well. The kids loved it and most of my "crowd" was between 16 and 30. We were packed every night and had a long waiting list on the weekends, with 22 tables. I made some coin there!
 

middleofnowhere

Registered
Yeah, you have to be there to run a Pool room, unless you can hire a manager who you can really trust, which is rare. The wait staff is going to care less about the pool part of the business. They just don’t know to look out for things the way a pool playing owner/manager does.

Look, if a pro player with a big name is lending his/her name and/ or also investing their own money in a billiard establishment; then it has to be located in a fairly densely populated area where the name recognition can draw sufficient number of customers to establish profitability.

Years ago Mickey Mantle sold his name to a sports themed restaurant/bar in NYC upper west side on Central Park West- it was very successful for a period of time- the food was great- Mantle was almost never there. Bobby Valentine was very successful in Ct starting in 1981 with a series of sports themed bar/restaurants. Bobby would be there quite often and mix with the customers quite a bit. He was a working owner.

I don't think a pro billiard player's name adds much to a billiard place unless they are invested with their time being devoted to the frequent customer player's interests. I would expect some interaction with a pro player as a frequent customer- at least a friendly game and some conversation on occasion- otherwise- what's the point?
I doubt a pro player's name adds anything to the business. Not to mention that nobody knows who the hell they are anyway, they're only celebrities within a minuscule subculture.

Also almost historically pool players are not very good businessmen or managers. In fact the whole basis of the lifestyle that allowed them to become the level player they are, is based on a selfish irresponsibility of time. They are a walking catch 22.

As a former pool room owner I've had pool players work for me including a former world champion. They were the worst employees I ever had.

In fact the world champion he didn't want to do any work at all. Add to that he was constantly borrowing money. He also lost me customers because he would borrow money from them.

Because they didn't know how to say no it was easier to stop coming in anymore.
Bottom line, a pro player has nothing to do with the success of a room.
A knowledgeable owner and staff is very important but they don't need to be a world champion players.
 
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iusedtoberich

AzB Gold Member
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ive seen the rows of cues in cases in poolrooms. but what ive never seen is, as people are looking at the cues in the cases, an employee coming over and talking to them and opening the case and showing the cues.
Yeah true. I’ve been to dozens of rooms and never saw that either. A customer would have to flag down the houseman to see any merchandise. I would imagine if the houseman went right over on his own, opened the glass and handed a fancy cue to a customer, there would be exponentially more sales.

Now with the internet though idk if a poolroom should even have a retail section. It might not be worth the square footage.
 
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