The Rookies Story: A Glass Half Full

Let’s face it, these have been hard times for both families and businesses.  This month we’ve decided to do a case study about a VHT customer who is overcoming adversity in a commercial environment.  

Michael Hobson has seen his share of challenges.  Working his way up from a restaurant dishwasher to bar back and eventually GM, he is now the proud owner of Rookies Sports Lodge, one of the most popular sports bar/restaurants in San Jose.

When the pandemic hit, Michael had some difficult choices to make.  “It was very hard to tell what was going to happen but we wanted to take a leadership role in the community”.  On March 12th Michael sent a letter to his staff informing them that Rookies would close indefinitely.

During the shutdown Michael looked for a silver lining: “I thought about what we could do for our regular clients to make it special when we reopened”.  In addition to some repairs they had been putting off, Michael decided to do a major upgrade to their entertainment system. 

Michael wanted to increase the viewing area around the bar from an already impressive structure built by VHT that housed eight 65” TVs.   For the upgrade, VHT mounted four more TVs inside the existing structure.  “Now our customers can watch their sports events from every angle, there isn’t a bad seat in the house” Michael said.   The full system includes pendant speakers, subs, smart lighting and full automation and control.  “VHT is by far the most professional company I’ve ever worked with for AV and automation.  Video and audio quality is fantastic throughout the restaurant and I can control channels, manage music zones, dim the lights all through my cell phone from home.”

Rookies has now re-hired 20 of their employees between the two locations (about a third of their original staff), is open for takeout and Al Fresco dining and is ready to reopen for limited capacity indoor dining as soon as the city allows.  

““Restaurants and bars have suffered so much during the pandemic, it’s great to see some that are thinking ahead and still have the confidence to invest.  I admire how Michael made the strategic decision to make improvements during the downtime to make their customer experience even better.  We’re happy to be part of it” said Peter Nurney, CEO of Valley Home Theater & Automation.

Rookies Sports Lodge is a family owned and operated restaurant with locations at 99 S 1st St and 1535 Meridian Ave #10 in San Jose.

Valley Home Theater is headquartered in Dublin, CA and provides residential home theater and smart technologies design and implementation for residential and commercial customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

Please contact us at 925-828-8741 ext 1 for any of your residential or commercial automation needs.

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