Originally Posted by Mabel30
I couldn't believe it when I saw mention of this establishment. My great uncle John Clark McConnachie was the proprietor there from 1912-1930. I'm the family historian and have been trying to find out more information about him and his place. You seem to know something about it and I'd love to hear where I could find out more. I've Google Mapped the street address which was 334 Portage, right near Hargrave, but of course everything looks different today. Obviously the old building was torn down and the landscape quite changed. Can you or anyone else on the link tell me what they know? Thanks.
As I said before, King George was in the rear portion of the Mitchell-Copp building, just on the north side of the back lane (South side of the lane was the old Eaton's parkade). The facade on the entrance was a deep maroon tile, with a silver canopy, a step up from the sidewalk to a terrazzo floor extended inside the building foyer. A neon side stood in the window next to the front door. The doors were double oak doors with brass hardware (similar to Eatons) at one time, then went to aluminum store front. The flight of stairs down to the basement were purpose built, not an aftermarket type and they blended in with the plaster walls and wainscot. The basement height was over 8 feet, but less than 10 at where you walked in. The pipe smoke occupied the upper two feet near the ceiling and the overhead lights flooded the eight 6 X 12 tables. Heavy wooden benches with green leather seats skirted the perimeter walls. Common cue racks stood in the entrance area by the coat racks and private locked cue racks for regulars were housed under the stairs.
The players that frequented the establishment were mostly of English descent and the cockney accents sounded foreign at first, but you gradually got used to them and eventually you spoke them back, if you stayed long enough. Clientel was mostly Eaton's employees during the day, and office staff, lawyers, and downtown business people took over after 5:30. Typically, on payday (Thursday), a group would go to Moore's restaurant at N/E Portage and Donald for dinner, wander down to the 'Commish' for a couple mickeys of Haig & Haig or Gilbeys, and then go to the George for an evening of billiards. Those that went to the St. Regis for a few jars of bitters and beer, or an ale or two, were usually in by 6:30/7:00, and were somewhat more boisterous than the others than went to Moore's. Arguments and bickering were part of the atmosphere and were essentially, 'good sport' for the blokes that played there.
The fellow that racked the balls was the man-in-charge when on duty. Not only did he rack and polish the balls, he cleaned the felt, kept count of the runs, and announced 'game ball' for the big money tables. If you wanted to get in to the game, you passed him a fin and waited for a player to retire or over-spent the evening, to be called in to play. If the night was favourable for you, another fin would make you getting a game next time more pleasurable.