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01-05-2005, 12:12 PM
Pool hall idea pans out

By ABBY G. BRUNKS
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 01/06/05

In the early 1990s, when Pat Grunden was executive director of North Georgia Civitan Clubs and her husband, John, was running an insurance consulting firm, their son, Marc, approached them with a business idea.

"We looked at him kind of incredulously," Pat Grunden said. "I never imagined owning a billiard hall."

But the Grundens decided to go for the green the green felt of a pool table, that is. They opened the Classic Cue, the only pool hall in Fayette County.

The 18-table establishment sits in a small strip mall a few blocks from the old courthouse on Ga. 85 in Fayetteville. The Grundens co-own it with lifelong friends Katherine and Gary Crook, who now live in Augusta.

The pool hall is open every day. On some Saturday mornings, John Grunden, who is a certified instructor through the Billiard Congress of America, offers small-group instruction on the finer points of pool shooting.

"I start with the fundamentals and take them as far as they want to go," he said. "Pool is a very simple game, and if they learn the fundamentals, they can learn quickly compared to other sports. It's also a fantastic way to learn about geometry and, more so, physics."

Tuesday nights is men and women's league night.

One young league player, Jerry Bernhard, 16, got hooked on the game at age 14 and has taken lessons from Grunden. Now Jerry plays pool a couple of hours a day, at least five days a week.

"I quit playing baseball to play pool," Jerry said. "All I do is go to school and play pool. My goal is to win the Junior National Championship in May this year."

Jerry said there are two secrets to being good at pool.

"You've got to have a lot of patience and concentration," he said. "Especially the patience part."

The cost to shoot pool is determined by the length of time and the number of people playing. Prices can range from $4.95 for one player to $2.95 each for five players or more. A light menu is served, including chicken tenders, hot dogs and pizza. Beer and sodas are available. Smoking is allowed in a restricted area.

The Classic Cue is at 200 Glynn St., Fayetteville. Information: Call 770-461-2496 or visit www.theclassiccue.com. (http://www.theclassiccue.com.) http://img.coxnewsweb.com/B/06/95/98/image_1298956.jpg
John Grunden (left) and his wife, son and two friends own the Classic Cue, Fayette County's only pool hall.
W.A. BRIDGES JR./AJC Staff
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