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When Shawna Arrowood began working at Family Billiards Restaurant in 1985, she never dreamed that after 24 years of hard work she would own the establishment.
Ralph and Patsy Toole opened Family Billiards and Restaurant in September of 1974. When the two recently decided to retire, Shawna, and her husband, Alfred, decided to carry on what they feel is an Owen County tradition.
Shawna said she began working at Family Billiards when she was only a teenager and the restaurant soon became like a second home.
“I started working here in August of 1985,” Shawna said. “I was right out of school and I needed a job. I never really wanted to leave, it just always felt like home to me.”
Shawna said after she began working at the restaurant, the Tooles became like a second family.
“Ralph and Patsy are just like a second set of parents to me,” Shawna said. “They made me a whole lot of the person I am today.”
Shawna said the restaurant is like a tradition to many in the area.
“It’s like eating in your home,” Shawna said. “So many people grew up eating here and playing pool here and now they bring their kids and grandkids. It’s like a tradition in Owen County.”
Shawna said she hopes that she and Alfred can work together to continue making Family Billiards a successful establishment.
“Ralph and Patsy worked a lot of years here together,” Shawna said. “I hope that Alfred and I can work together like they did and I hope that we can have half of the business and be the type of friends to the community that they were and will continue to be.”
Shawna said she feels that the family-friendly service is what keeps the business going day after day.
“It has been so successful because it’s a friendly place,” Shawna said. “You can come in here and get a good meal and not have to worry about being bothered by anyone.”
When they opened Family Billiards, The Tooles agreed they would stay until retirement.
“We’ve had a lot of good customers,” Patsy said. “We’ve made a lot of good friends and even lost a few of the more elderly ones.”
The Tooles said their main hope for the Arrowoods is to be successful.
“We hope that they’re successful and can be as blessed as we have,” Ralph said. “We hope they just keep on keeping on.”
Shawna said the menu will stay the same, right down to the famous “Ralphburger.”
“If anything we may add to the menu in the future, but we won’t be taking away from it,” Shawna said. “We might even start opening on Saturdays again in the winter.”
Shawna and Alfred said they’re excited to begin their journey as owners of Family Billiards
“We’re excited to jump in and get started,” Shawna said.