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Eat, Drink and Play

Local establishment incorporates bowling, billiards, arcade games, a full service restaurant and bar into a one-stop place to dine and have fun for the whole family
by: Vern Uyetake, Players’ manager Josh Sciaccoti gets the facility’s new high tech bowling alley ready for action last week.

Rarely, if ever, has so much fun been assembled under one roof as at Players.

The first thing you notice when you walk into the new establishment at 17880 S.W. Boones Ferry Road, is that it is absolutely huge. Then you follow the bright lights to all the fun things there are to do there.

Players is something different.

'There are various arcades, bowling alleys, restaurants and billiard places,' said Willie Krause, general manager of Players. 'No one has tied them all together and put them under one roof like this. Nobody does what we do.'

Such a big place has room for everybody.

'Some places are fun for children, but maybe they're not fun for adults,' Krause said. 'Here, kids can have fun and also parents. Or they can have fun together.'

It is the brightly twinkling 75 arcades and virtual reality games that greet Players patrons when they enter the building. From there it's a sweet trip to the full-service restaurant and the bowling alley.

There's a lot more upstairs, with an adults-only lounge with five custom pool tables, shuffleboard and a bar; and a teen lounge with a snack bar, pool tables, video games, shuffleboard, and couches to rest on between the fun.

Even with all of the activities, Players offers a full-service restaurant that Krause says 'can stand alone.' The bill of fare includes appetizers, salads, sandwiches, burgers, pizza, and entrees, including fresh grilled fish.

One more thing. Players has 35 televisions, with many of the big screens in the restaurant area.

Players is perfect for dropping in for lunch and bowling a couple frames. But it is even better for parties.

There are five party rooms for birthdays, Little League celebrations, going-away parties, graduation gatherings, and reunions. And there might be more festive opportunities in the future, like dances.

'We've already had inquiries about having bands here,' Krause said. 'We're open to any possibility.'

Players has an accent on youth. One-third of its staff is made up of high school students.

'We wanted to give them the opportunity for a first job,' Krause said.

For all its huge size and all it has to offer, Players has been keeping a low profile in its opening days because Krause says, 'We wanted to work out all the bugs.'

Now Players is ready to get on with its motto of 'Eat, Drink, Bowl, Play.'

'We're getting the word out,' Krause said. 'We'll be advertising on radio and in the newspapers, and we're counting on word of mouth.'

The concept of Players was so intriguing to Krause, a 30-year veteran of the restaurant business in California and Portland, that it was easy for him to make up his mind about becoming the general manager.

'It's uniqueness and scope are incredible,' he said. 'From the time I was presented the offer it took me only two days to decide to come here.

'I've really enjoyed taking something like this from the ground up and giving birth to it.'

Players is open seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. from Sunday through Thursday, and from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

For more information about Players, call 503-726-4263.

Lane fees

* Wednesday matinee - $20, Monday through Friday, before 5 p.m. Per lane/per hour/6 players.

* Weekday evenings - $32, Sunday through Thursday, 5 to 8 p.m. Per lane/per hour/6 players.

* Weekday late night - $20, Sunday through Thursday after 8 p.m. Per lane/per hour/6 players.

* Primetime matinee - $35, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, before 5 p.m. Per lane/per hour/6 players.

* Primetime evenings - $38, Friday, Saturday and holidays, after 5 p.m. Per lane/per hour/6 players