Venue: Eightball VIP Sports Cafe
Location: 90 Richmond Street, Chatham Ontario
Main owner & manager: Tony Almeida
Opened: October, 1983 as Eightball Billiards & Games
From the early 90’s to 2004, EightBall was the main consistent provider of live entertainment with variety.
Owner Tony Almeida was simply the nicest bar owner in Chatham and a true supporter of the community and its local bands. Tony decided to retire after 25 years in the business which began as EightBall simply being a Billiard hall. The venue has since changed its name to Twisters, and a few others before becoming Encore, which it is now known as in 2010.
Over the years, the bar hosted acts including Finger Eleven, Great White, Quiet Riot, I Mother Earth, Nazareth, Big Sugar, The Trews, 54-40, Econoline Crush, Default, Theory of a Deadman, Bif Naked, Rusty & many, many more.
EightBall began hosting local bands to play shows back in the mid 1990’s. They were often given Sundays to do their thing. Otherwise, the young kids would normally have to rent a hall (JC Hall, KBD Hall, CAW Hall, Polish Hall, & the Legions) which was a big burden and risk to take for these young kids. Tony did his best to share his good fortune and develop a good community spirit amongst all club goers, whether it be rap, dance, country, techno, metal, or foam parties. Like all bars, it had a few slow years caused by various reasons, but mainly, it held its ground as the top entertainment venue in Chatham for the majority of the time.
Personal Note: I have worked with Tony for many years performing in bands (Foster Child/ Janet Theory) & he sincerely was the best owner, taking care of the bands he had play at his club. He took care of his customers, staff, and hired entertainment with respect. He gave opportunities to young new acts, and in return, we did our best to try to make the shows extra special so that the venue would be packed and everybody wins.
Tony remarked “I certainly miss all the people that I used to work with and of course, The group Foster Child/Janet Theory was sincerely one of the best to work with. I really miss you guys and will never forget some of the good times that we all had!
I will always be gratefull for all the effort that you guys did to help Eightball become what it did back in the day”.
A few of the bands that performed here were:54-40, Ashes of Soma, Betrayer, Big Sugar, Cage 33, Carpedeim, Clark Nova, Closer To Closure, Crazy Babies, Crutch, Default, Driving Lester, Dropping Poppies, Ego Seed, Fat Doug & The Sinners, Filmores (the)Finding Core, Finger Eleven, First Line Third Planet, Flicker, FLOORrYDe, Foreign Film Stars, Foster ChildGilligans Eye Lid, Halfway There, Hatchet Man Phenomenon, Hollow (the)HorrowShow, Janet Theory, J Englishmen, Joy Drop, Limblifter, Mad Dash Tour, Modena 440, Nerve, Orinj, Power Trip, Quiet Riot, Random Time, Room Without A View, Rusty, Salads (the), Sedated, Scratching Post, Social Code, Source (the), Stutter, Tangled Puppet, This End Up, Toast & Jam, Tranzit, Trole, Typhoid Mary, Wide Mouth Mason, Whaling Band & Whatever.
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