About 9 years old.
Mom and Dad
It all started in November of 1970. My father, John Sr., decided he wanted to fulfill a lifetime dream. I mean, he already did when I was born a few months before, so I guess he was feeling lucky. He bought Guys and Dolls way back then. He ran it with passion, both for pool and taking care of customers. He had a few key concepts: No nonsense. Friendly staff. Comfortable atmosphere. Quality all around.
Four years later, a fire gutted the place. We were closed for 18 months. It didn't look like the building owner wanted to reopen. Dad took on odd jobs to pay the bills. Times were tough. Mom stepped in and encouraged Dad to buy the building. With money borrowed from every possible source, he did it. The Brunswick Gold Crown pool tables he basically mortgaged the house for are still in use today. His soul, which he poured into the reopening, lives on.
He was a smart man, my dad. He saw the popularity of video games years before the boom, and our arcade was known all over. I grew up playing Donkey Kong and Street Fighter and every other popular game from that time period. I didn't play Dance Dance Revolution, but I watched a generation of teenagers do their thing. Can't say I understood it, but they sure did.
Many famous pool players have made their way onto our tables. We've seen the likes of Steve Miserak, Cue Ball Kelly, Janet Lee, Ewa Mataya, and many others. We've even had some celebrities come through our door. From famous musicians to actors to politicians, Guys and Dolls has had its share of the famous. I even remember a young Tony Danza coming in, before anyone knew who he was, including him. Okay, I'll stop the name dropping.
Dad started it all, and I'd like to think he's still watching over the place, making sure everyone is having a good time (and no one is sitting on the pool tables) My family has owned Guys and Dolls since 1970, but the true family consists of our customers. My life has been enriched by the advice of older customers when I was young and by watching the younger generations transition to adulthood.
We've seen some changes over the years. From the fire of 1974 (you can still see the charred wood in the ceiling) to a total makeover from a TV show in 2010 (you can still smell the charred brain coming out of my ears) Guys and Dolls has been through it all. And with the different generations that grew up with us, we've grown as well. Come see why so many people call our place their second home.
We've updated recently, and now offer 50 types of beer. We carry IPAs, Ambers, Stouts, Porters, Lagers, Ales, Seasonals, and beers you just won't find anywhere else. I'm sure you'll find something you'll like. If not, we have a full variety of liquor as well.
Stop in and see what we are all about. Shoot a game with friends or make new ones at our bar. We'd love to have you.
John R. Misak, Jr.
It's an old pic. Not long after they opened again in 1974. You can't really see it, but that's relief on both of their faces.
A busy Saturday afternoon. Can still remember this day. Don't ask me about the improper form.
Mom, her name is Carol by the way, always does more than one thing at a time. Here she is studying up while running the counter. She passed the test. In more ways than one.
Mom Busy as Usual
Studying for an exam 1980
Dad and Cue Ball Kelly
43 Years. A lot's changed. Some things never will.
The Old Days Pt2
Saturday Night, 1970
The Old Days
The Original Place 1970
That's Patti DiCarlo, an original customer (in more ways than one) lining up a shot in the original place.
Big difference from today. Other than the decor and the hairstyles, not much has really changed.
Cue Ball Kelly, a trick artist, came down for an exhibition for Valley Stream Central High School. He and Dad shot a few racks afterward. Never heard who won.