The new Crucible of Crime: Chuck E. Cheese

Looks like Chuck E Cheese is becoming a crime haven. What is the world coming to?
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During the past three years, Fairlawn police have been called to the Chuck E. Cheese's on West Market Street 49 times.

That's more calls than any other stand-alone business in the city — including bars.

Only Summit Mall, a 120-store behemoth, produces more police reports.

Apparently, this is not particularly unusual. The Chuckster seems to be developing a national reputation for disorderly conduct.
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Read the rest at:
http://www.ohio.com/news/37369664.html

It even mentions a Toledo incident.

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I hate to generalize, but Chuck E. Cheese seems to attract a certain lowbrow kind of crowd. Maybe I am thinking of some of the mullet-headed types on the fringes of my social circles who threw birthday parties for their kids at Chuck E. Cheese, or how it is such a magnet for divorced dads on Sundays: kids run wild, dads drink beer and watch football.

Gad, what a depresing place. Crappy, over-priced pizza, sweaty people with dirty socks jumping around, and that obnoxious animated puppet band screeching out lame tunes.

If I ever say the words "Gee, let's go to Chuck E. Cheese," I want the nearest SwampBubblian to use a laser-sighted rifle and put two bullets square in my skull. It would be better than ever setting foot in that commercial cesspool again.

were right about you HistoryMike, you are an elitist snob. Suits you right working at a University. lol

Looks like Chuck E. Cheese will become the new "Hells Angles" types of establishments. No wonder crime is rampant, our officers need to spend more time at Chuck E Cheeses and not enough time in the neighborhoods.

Heh

I think I am more misanthropic than elitist.

I suddenly got a vivid scene involving Eddie Haskel surrounded by shoes, socks and used sweatshirts, showing his choppers and snapping at anyone who dares come too close to his, ah, nest? This behavior has to be learned somewhere.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

They didn't have beer at Chuch E Cheese when my sons were of that age. It would have helped us for sure!!! lol

If I never go to CEC again I will be ok!!!!

Kareng:

That didn't stop you from smuggling beer in, did it? Or did you just carry a flask strapped to your calf to spike your cola?

If I have to hear one more time about your kids are practically grown and people, like me, will be raising kids for 36 years....I'm going to make sure that that next ladies night out stops at ChuckECheese and you are buying me a beer AND dancing with Chuckie.

Someone's gotta keep the population growing, might as well be you. You're so good at it! :)

If you ever get me into CEC, I will buy you a beer!

I'm telling ya, it's the damn children! Those little 2,3 & 4 year old hellions!

They get a little pizza under their belt, and WATCH OUT! I had a friend that was chased all around the place by a 4 year old kid brandishing a pacifier!

I think the pizza brings out the 'machismo' in 'em!

a slice of pie makes many do things they would not normally do.


Summer Chuck E Cheese Song Video Remix - More bloopers are a click away

If man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth. ~Japanese Proverb

Ugh

(stabs eyeballs with nearby pencils)

believe someone actually made that.

Should the Little Caesar guy be dissing someone else’s pizza? :)

HA!

Too funny, and point well taken, Sensor G. I can say that every pizza made when I was in the stores was high quality, but just like any fast food joint, the quality is only as good as the degree to which the employees care. I know that some of the workers I employed at times had a much lower of dedication to quality, and I had a couple of managers more concerned with booty calls than product quality.

I will say that LC has cut a few quality corners in the past 5-10 years (long after my time). But they at least make the dough fresh every day, use real cheese (no cheese substitute fillers), and their spice recipe added to the sauce is the best of any chain.

was my second job. John Szymanski was the manager.

It's where I learned to hand-toss. Which gave me the skillz to be head pizza maker at Sbarros in the food court at Southwyck.

But CEC? Never been in a parking lot of said establishment.

LC still sprinkling that yellow stuff at the bottom of those pans?

Blast from the past, Brian. I owned that location from 1990-8, just after your run. And yes, the last I heard cornmeal is still used at LC to keep the dough from sticking to the pan.

so tell me, Mike, after being as extensively LC trained as you were, are you still able to look at a pizza without critiqing it?

Can't tell you how many times down here I've offered to "hop the counter" and make my own!

That was a cool little location, wasn't it? It truly is a shame that I wasn't there when you were because during my stint, we (cough I cough) had the best looking and tasting pizzas in the area :)

Because if there isn't anything more fun, besides creating those masterful works of culinary delight, it's rolling dough! And I made some tight-assed balls, mister.

And I do have to agree with the "manager's/booty call", except John's was the friggen Red Sox/ Tiger games.

In the last few years I have been able to gradually de-program myself after over two decades in various capacities with LCE (everything from dishwasher to manager to area supervisor to Joe Louis Arena concessions to franchisee). I can still make a helluva pizza from scratch, but I no longer get riled up when I go into a restaurant, although I did get into critic mode when I recently ate at the Gino's on Alexis Road (one server for the entire dining room, so-so quality, and price way out of proportion to service and quality).

I always liked the Trilby store, and it had a lot of dedicated customers. I also benefited from inheriting a crew, managers, and quality reputation that were all solid, unlike some of the other stores I bought. What killed me in the pizza business was buying the LC store that used to be at NorthTowne. I was smart about the pizza business, but I knew nothing about malls, and I ended up purchasing a financial albatross that bled $10-$15 grand a month from January to October, and eked out small profits at Christmas. That store alone ate up everything my other four restaurants generated, but the worst problem was that the previous owner signed a long-term lease that I had to honor, with monthly rent, utilities, CAM, and marketing obligations of almost $7K a month. That's a hellacious overhead for a store in a mall where traffic started falling almost from the day it opened.

So, live and learn. I had to file bankruptcy to get rid of the mountain of paper losses and liabilities, but my life is infinitely better since I got the entrepreneur bug out of me. I went back to college, got my BA and MA, and I hope to start getting called "Dr. Brooks" in 2009.

enjoyed this tangent, Dr Brooks, I miss floured hands and the pressure to churn out a perfectly decorated pizza.

and that was all the responsibility I wanted.

:)

HistoryMike:
I owned the pet store around the corner from the Trilby Little Ceasar's from 1988-93. You provided lunch for us and the staff a lot! This was back when you had the sandwiches...on pita bread...

Thanks for your patronage, HelenWheales. What was the name of your store? I remember Babette's next to Janney's, and there was another one on the side by Trilby School whose name escapes me.

My place was The Pet Stop, down a little further South on Secor ..on the other side of what used to be the Brondes used lot. We were in the strip next to the Golden Dragon, which I affectionately refer to as the Yellow Lizard.

OK

I remember that place. Trilby used to have almost a small-town character, but the big box drug stores and the arrival of more chain stores is changing all that.

This thread reminded me that I started some preliminary research on the history of Trilby, Ohio a few years back. Maybe I'll get around to working on that again.

I wrote an article on the neighborhood of Trilby for Toledo Parent News back in 1996 (I think it was October). It included some history I dug up from a number of sources.

We've lived there for 21 years....and we really wanted to buy that old Rexall at the corner for our pet store, but the big-box pet stores moved in and took much of our supply business, so we got out while we could.

I wish you were still open. Getting quality tropical fish is not easy in Toledo these days. I am an avid keeper and breeder of tropical fish.

I was in the Sweet Feed Co. on Starr Ave. today and they are going out of business. That means the only purveyors of tropical fish east of the Maumee are Meijers, Walmart, and The Andersons. All are fine establishments, but do not have people who are trained in maintaining the correct water chemistry for each fish. Nor can they tell you not to mix African Cichlids with Neon Tetras. They'll just sell you whatever you want to buy.

I now try to buy from Trilby Tropicals. But living in Oregon, they are not convenient for me. There are other options, but there are two stores in Toledo with which I will not deal because of their mistreatment of animals -- including fish. I know one area retailer sold me saltwater fish that were caught with cyanide because I had my water tested after they died. The other has had issues with the Humane Society.

Brian Swartz wrote: I wish you were still open. Getting quality tropical fish is not easy in Toledo these days. I am an avid keeper and breeder of tropical fish.

We have the same trouble...The Ma and Pa places are the ones with the experience and the service. Our store had 120 tanks of fish, and carried the African Cichlids that few other places bothered with. Our staff became experts and it paid off.
Trouble was just as you say, big box stores came in and ran us out. Really. I had FOUR large stores either open or expand their pet dept. within 5 miles of us overnight.
We could not compete with the hard-good prices. They could not complete on the livestock variety...But we made less on the livestock.
Within a few years, almost all the family-owned places closed.

Actually, I would recommend Trilby Tropicals--the original owner family still owns it. This was Pet Palace at Westgate, then Miracle Mile, then they moved somewhere else...then to the Rexall at Trilby, and now to Franklin Park.

I think that they are the only Ma and Pa place still around. Some people drive to Detroit for fish. You CAN order from the Internet and have them live shipped Fed Ex. REALLY. This way, you can get anything!

A friend of ours orders cichlids from Utah. I know he ordered from somewhere else in the past and used to meet his fish at the airport!

Ha! I worked at LC down the road from Trilby as a kid. I remember doughball fights, and a crazy bald-headed manager named George.

Pink Slip

Uh oh, an alumnus from LC Tamaron. I also owned that one during the same period, and George worked for me for a few years.

In that case Mike, I apologize for our shenanigans.

Pink Slip

I did some evil stuff as a 15-17 year old in the first LC I worked at. It goes with the territory - good managers keep the hijinks to a minimum, while weak managers let the place run wild. At my first LC in detroit we had a manager who let us drink. On the job. Right from the tap (this was a dine-in location with beer and wine).

Talk about insanity - teenagers are trouble enough without them getting sheattt-faced on the clock. While this manager eventaully got canned for dating a 16-year-old, the bad seeds were planted. The hihlight on the drunken evilness was when one of the employees thought it would be funny to partly unscrew all the lightbulbs in the dining room at close. The opening manager called the supervisor, thinking it was a partial power outage. He spent two hours tearing apart the electrical panel before he accidentally bumped a fixture and it briefly lit. Then the scene in the dining room was as follows:

Mother....(twists a bulb)....f**kers....(twists a bulb)....mother....(twists a bulb)....f**kers.... and so on until all 30-40 lights got screwed back on.

It was kind of funny at the time to watch how pissed the supervisor was, but today I feel sorry for him. The employee in question got canned, but he said it was worth it.

I had a big bonfire a few years ago, Pink Slip, and I torched all the employee files (safer than dumping them in the trash or recycling, in terms of confidentiality). So even if I knew your real name (I don't) you don't have to worry about paybacks.

I've long since moved on, and life as a regular joe is much much better than as a business owner.

I didn't mind Chuck E. Cheese on weekdays. (I stayed home with my kids until they were school aged...every once in awhile I'd take them to Chuck E. Cheese during the day.)

Usually only a very small handful of people there...just a few other moms with kids who weren't old enough to be in school. Not much chaos.

Chuck E Cheese on a weekend gives me a headache though. Yikes! I generally try to avoid the chaos.

Right, just a few other moms who needed a little R&R around two in the afternoon. Order up a beer or two for Mom, then get the kids wound up on sugar and turn 'em loose on the whack a mole game. Talk about desperate housewives...

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

Yeah, you're a real know it all.

Except I don't drink alcohol around my kids. (And it would especially out of the question if I were driving them anywhere, of course.)

And I actually played the games *with* my kids. It was something we did together...not a way for me to turn them lose and not pay attention.

We also didn't eat any sugar (or pizza for that matter). Just bought some tokens and played, on days when the weather wasn't good enough to go to the park or any of our other usual activities. Maybe once a month or so. So what?

I take my son to Chuck E Cheese a couple of times a year and he loves it. I've never had or seen any trouble with other parents.
The only devious behavior I've seen is little kids trying to swipe tickets from a game someone else was playing.

While its not the best pizza by far I think the store up on Airport's pizza is pretty good actually, it could use a little more sauce for my taste but over all its not that bad.

I've had my son's birthday there twice now and its been a hit both times.

Its sad that the behavior of a few lowlifes can paint an establishment with a bad name.

 

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