By Art Holliday
TROY, Mo. (KSDK) - By most accounts, families can get good food and have a good time at The Shak in Troy, Missouri. So why is it three weeks from closing just three months after opening?
"I took every dime I had and I built this place," said owner Don Meyers. "It was just a shed. You can see it from the outside. It's just a square building. We're barely hanging on. It was probably the wrong time to do it because of the economy."
Meyers says there's not enough money left for a bigger sign, one that might get the attention of a steady stream of drivers on South Lincoln Drive.
Selling alcohol might help, too, but the owner of The Shak says that's not going to happen either because of his prior struggle with alcohol.
"I lost families, children, jobs, I hit my bottom," said Meyers.
Meyers, who served in the Marines, wants The Shak to be alcohol free for young families. One half of the building has seating for dinner, non-alcoholic drinks, and kaoroke. The other half of the building has pool tables, air hockey, and other arcade games.
"I wanted to build a little place where we could have the whole thing without the alcohol," said Meyers. "A place where you can come and relax. Where the parents can come with their children and the game room and the arcade is within sight."
Word of mouth brought the Knight family to The Shak on a Monday night.
"A couple of our friends said it was a great place to bring the children to have fun and run amok while you guys sit and eat and there's no other place like that, so we wanted to give it a try," said Robyn Knight. "We'll definitely be back. The kids are having fun. Absolutely, I recommend it with kids, definitely."
Charles Ray, also known as CJ the DJ, brought his family to The Shak and and liked it so much he decided to help find new customers by handing out hundreds of flyers and starting a Facebook page.
"The problem with that is that not everyone that comes in here knows about Facebook and gets on there, so that's also hurting us a lot."
Just weeks from running out of money, Don Meyers isn't ready to believe an alcohol free, smoke free, kid friendly business can't survive. But if business doesn't pick up, March 1 is the last day for The Shak.
"Many many people told me it'd be closed down in a month," said Meyers. "We're at three months. We're not gone yet."