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The Queen of Virginia Skill Games Became The Heartbeat of Small Businesses

Jan 22, 2024 5:29:59 PM • By Gina Trumm Reinhardt

At Virginia Beach, where the waves meet the sand and the community thrives, local restaurant AJ Gators stands as a testament to resilience and community spirit. LaVar Arrington, known for his prowess on the field, takes a moment to sit down with Al Zuhar, the man behind the legendary AJ Gators, to delve into the challenges faced by small businesses and the lifeline provided by skill games.


AJ Gators, a staple in the community, recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. For Al Zuhar, the journey has been more than just running a business; it's been about creating a space where people gather, create memories, and build a community. AJ Gators is not just a restaurant; it's a hub where families have worked for generations, a place where patrons become part of the extended family.


LaVar Arrington, passionate about championing small businesses, commends AJ Gators for weathering the storms that come with the ever-increasing challenges of running a business. The conversation delves into the nitty-gritty of staying afloat, the impact of COVID-19, and the role skill games played in transforming the business landscape.


Al Zuhar emphasizes the critical role skill games have played in keeping the doors open. Al recounts how Queen of Virginia Skill became a game-changer, helping to maintain slower stores, keep employees on the payroll, and even contribute to community initiatives. The skill games weren't just a source of revenue; they became the lifeline that allowed AJ Gators to weather the economic turbulence.


The challenges faced by small businesses during the pandemic were obvious. Al Zuhar's voices know that his establishment is not just a place to eat and drink but a pillar in the community. Queen of Virginia Skill emerged as more than a form of entertainment; they became a financial backbone, enabling businesses like AJ Gators to continue their community-centric initiatives.


The discussion pivots to the tangible impact on patrons. Al Zuhar acknowledges the fluctuations in regular customers, highlighting the direct correlation between skill games and football. The gaming experience became integral to the overall ambiance of AJ Gators, influencing food and bar sales, and in turn, sustaining the business.


LaVar Arrington takes a moment to explore the philanthropic side of AJ Gators. Al Zuhar proudly shares the various ways they give back to the community, from sponsoring teams to hosting fundraisers. The fabric of the community, as LaVar describes it, is intricately woven with contributions from establishments like AJ Gators.


The conversation concludes with a glimpse into the potential future of AJ Gators. Queen of Virginia Skill, coupled with community support, has not only kept the business afloat but has enabled plans for expansion. Al Zuhar's aspirations for a new space adjacent to the existing establishment underscore the significance of skill games in not just maintaining but enhancing small businesses.


"More Than A Game" isn't just a campaign slogan; it's a testament to the relationship between skill games, small businesses, and the communities they serve. AJ Gators isn't just surviving; it's thriving, proving that sometimes, a game can be more than just a game—it can be a lifeline, a community builder, and a beacon of hope in challenging times.


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The above interview reflects experiences from when skill games were previously operating in Virginia. The games have since been disabled in compliance with state law. If you are interested in supporting skill games in Virginia, please visit www.joinvamac.com

Tags: Business Owners, Community, More Than A Game

About The Author: Gina Trumm Reinhardt

Gina Trumm Reinhardt