Compared to the rest of the year, how busy is March Madness season at After 5?
March Madness draws a steady flow of patrons (fans) coming to our establishment to enjoy our great menu, specifically our wings, fish and drinks. They enjoy a 21-and-older grown folks environment while socializing with friends as they cheer for their favorite team. March Madness season is good for our business but it is only a month long compared to football season, which is a much longer season drawing a larger number of patrons for a longer period of time.
What's the hardest thing about running a sports bar?
As with any business, it's challenging keeping customers happy to keep them coming back. It is even more challenging when you are running two sports bars, as is our case with both After 5 and CJ's Wings -N- Things Bar & Grill. We have to manage, maintain and coordinate numerous events to keep traffic coming.
It's difficult to manage so many different schedules for our clientele from college and NFL football, basketball and baseball schedules to UFC and boxing events plus holiday and birthday celebrations. At After 5, we are open six days a week during football season and five days a week the remainder of the year. CJ's Wings -N- Things is open year-round, seven days a week and caters to the entire family with no age limitations.
What will you always remember about your time playing basketball at Columbus College (now Columbus State University)?
I will always remember having an opportunity to enjoy the entire college experience. It was a blessing being able to attend college on a full athletic scholarship, playing for Coach Green who was not only my coach but my mentor, and being able to attend a great school like Columbus College, now Columbus State University. I enjoyed the fans who supported us as well as my teammates and classmates who became lifelong friends.
Tell us about your involvement with The Presidents, a Columbus motorcycle club.
I have enjoyed riding motorcycles since I was a teenager. I am friends with and became involved with members of the Presidents MC several years ago.
After learning of their commitment and support of numerous local charities and non-profit organizations, I decided I wanted to make a difference and get more involved in what they were doing to support the community.
Our recent activities include partnering with Steve Harvey to donate over 200 turkeys to needy families in Columbus for Thanksgiving and an upcoming charity drive to support the local Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), just to name a few.
What's the best-kept secret in the Chattahoochee Valley?
It's the rich history throughout the Valley area and our great Southern hospitality we have to share with our children and out-of-town family and friends. There are so many places unique to our area and we tend to take these places or venues for granted.
We have one-of-a-kind or unique places to share, but many times we are unaware they are even here -- the National Infantry Museum, the Little White House, downtown Columbus venues, Callaway Gardens, to name a few. We need to not only support these venues by visiting them, but constantly promote these places or sites to help keep them here and operating financially.