While walking downtown, you pass a smoky pool hall that often times is filled with “regulars.”
The ‘normal’ crowd at Dodo’s is needless to say, not college students.
“I think college kids see all the regulars and they think that it’s a place that older people come,” Caitlyn Dillman, senior biology major and a bartender at Dodo’s said. “[and they think] they shouldn’t hang out in here.”
When you walk into Dodo’s, you are immediately greeted with a smile from the bartender and a whiff of smoke. Dodo’s is one of the only places in Milledgeville that allows smoking inside, which adds a specific charm to the place. Lighted bar signs, old pictures and handmade posters help create the aesthetic of an authentic, deeply personal pool hall.
“I’ve seen how crazy some of the other bars get,” Dillman said. “And it’s different here because we have such a certain way of doing things that’s been passed down for a while, so it’s cool to be part of a tradition.”
Keeping with the tradition has always been important to the staff at Dodo’s. Whether it’s the chili recipe for the famous hot dogs or the gold matchbooks with “Remember Dodo’s,” in black, block letters printed on the front. The old time feel Dodo’s creates makes for a unique experience.
“You aren’t going to find a place that’s been the same for 70 or 80 years downtown,” Dillman said. “People come in and tell me all their stories. That’s one of the best parts about it. People come in and tell me how they’ve been coming here for 60 years and we’re famous for these chili dogs that we’ve been making and people still come for that. It’s really awesome to see all these people and they can tell me how it’s changed and how it’s stayed the same.”
Dodo’s was originally a theater, and as soon as you walk in and look at the tiles lining the walkway, you are reminded of this. Upstairs, there was a bar called The Opera House. The Opera House was filled with black and white photos, now lining the walls of Dodo’s. In line with these huge black and white photos are rusted beer signs, reminders of Milledgeville’s past, and gifts to the bar owners. Every single decoration has a purpose and story behind it. So, whether it’s the clinking of the pool balls, the old country music on the jukebox, or the sound of patrons exchanging stories, Dodo’s needs to be on your Georgia College bucket list.
“I hope people are like ‘we’re going to go in there’, Dillman said. “‘GCSU bucket list, coming in to Dodos.’ I wish more college kids came in here.”
It is apparent that everyone that works at Dodo’s loves their job and wants to continue seeing this legacy live on. It’s not for the staff- it’s for the legacy of Dodo and for the patrons that enter the bar.
“I’ve known Dodo all my life,” co-owner, David Snow said. “He was my friend. He’d never harm anybody.”
The bar now serves as a living monument to Dodo’s Pool Hall’s namesake, his compassion and his dedication to keeping the most spirited bar in Milledgeville alive.
May you rest in peace, James Edward (DoDo) Hollis Jr. Milledgeville will miss you greatly.