40 Broadway Albany NY 12202 (518) 434-2800
This is our full-time occupation and not a side-line. We do the work ourselves, in our own shop, not by sub-contracting. We are restorers and billiard mechanics, rather than antique dealers, and we follow the project through to the end, doing our own installations.
With nearly 40 years of combined experience as billiard mechanics, we have the knowledge and experience to deal with the mechanical and playability issues, assuring that our tables will play beautifully.
Our backgrounds in studio Fine Arts enable us to deal comfortably with the aesthetic decisions that are such an important part of restoration and give us the technical skills in the areas of three-dimensional repair and reproduction, color and finish application.
Everything about an antique table - it's playability, aesthetics, authenticity - depends so much on the quality of its restoration.
We pride ourselves on doing a thorough and painstaking restoration which addresses every aspect while maintaining the character of the old table. We believe that our tables are unsurpassed for their beauty, playability and character.
Where We Come From
People often ask us how we got in this business and how we learned our craft.
A winding path brought us here, but in retrospect every step was relevant...
In 1978, Don left art school with an MA in Painting and took a job at a local billiard factory with some fellow artists. Here he learned basic billiard repair and maintenance skills, but more importantly, discovered a fascination with the venerable, if sometimes decrepit old tables he encountered. After a five year stint at the factory, eventually becoming foreman, he left to start Bankshot Billiard. At this time, Don met E.J. Kroll, an octogenarian and 2nd generation local billiard mechanic whose father had worked for Brunswick-Balke-Collender around the turn of the (20th) century in Albany NY. E.J. became Don’s mentor and role-model where the old tables were concerned. Bankshot also gradually evolved from repair and service only to sales of new tables and eventually installing 10-25 table rooms throughout New York State.
In 1994, Dave Grunenwald joined Bankshot Billiard. Dave had been employed at two bronze casting art foundries and his educational background was an MFA in Sculpture. Dave brought with him the technical expertise to do all types of three-dimensional repair and reproduction. A partnership was formed, Bankshot Antiques, and emphasis gradually and continually shifted from service and sales of new tables to acquiring and restoring antiques.
Over the last 30 years, we've paid our dues and earned our credentials. Today, while Bankshot Antiques still maintains a relationship with the A. E. Schmidt Co. of St. Louis – a manufacturer of traditionally crafted new tables –the vast majority of our time and energy is spent with the old tables – in our restoration shop, or on the road acquiring tables or delivering restored tables to their excited new owners.
Some excerpts from client notes after receiving their restored tables...
"The table is wonderful -better than I expected!"
- M. M. - Ashville, NC
"Just to let you know that EVERYONE loves the table and has remarked at the amazing work you do…. So many thanks…"
- S. M. - South Egremont, MA
"We just drove up to Massachusetts after a large turkey meal, and we ran downstairs to look at the pool table. It looks great! Marvelous job- delighted to offer a product testimonial. It is hard to believe that it is the same pool table! …many thanks for your caring craftsmanship on something that has tremendous sentimental value."
- S. W. - Great Barrington, MA
"It was a pleasure to finally meet both you and Dave. The pool table is absolutely beautiful! We’ve given it a lot of use in the last week. …The table is very fast and I will have to refine my Babe Ruth style… Thank you for your assistance. It was great to work with you on this purchase."
- L. E. Chicago IL
"…Thank you so much I appreciate your hard work and compliments and l do appreciate the quality of your workmanship. It is my pleasure to have people see the table and all you did. I do believe I will be able to send you some business, … Thanks again for your help in making my dream come true beyond my wildest imagination … Its great everyone is totally blown away by the table...it is so awesome."
- B. L. - Liberty, NC
"…Thank you, thank you both! You did an absolutely spectacular job bringing my old lady back to life. You did a job which can stand alongside the very best antique furniture restorers, and I am almost beyond belief in my admiration of the work you did…."
- M .H. Greenwich, CT
"It was a real pleasure working with you guys, from the first visit to your shop in Albany to the installation last weekend . . . and at every step in between. The Rochester table . . . is beautiful and reflects not only your craftsmanship in physically restoring it but also your patient counsel in selecting pocket leathers, cloth, etc. We could not be happier!"
- T. B. - Seal Cove, ME
“I really love this table, Don! It is beautiful. Thank you for doing such a fine job getting it ready and installing it. It occurs to me that as I write this email you and Dave are still probably on the road. It’s definitely a long drive back to Albany. At any rate, I just wanted to thank you again for the fine table you presented to me.”
- A. S. Canton, Mississippi
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Bankshot Antiques, 40 Broadway, Albany NY 12202
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