Career Do-Over: Owner of #1 Sports Bar in America Shares Insight

thefours1By Brendan Brock

Peter Colton is the proud owner of the #1 Sports Bar in America. The Four’s was established in 1976 and is recognized as one of the country’s first sports pubs. The Four’s is located in the sports capital of America and is brilliantly themed with Boston’s four major sports. With over 20 years experience in the restaurant industry, Peter has been able to fine tune his establishment by preserving a classical sports bar look while adding top of the line technology. Peter Colton’s success wasn’t a matter of luck or hand-me-downs; his success has grown from motivation and hard work.

Here is what Peter had to say about his own career:

What did you study in college, and then, knowing what you know now, do you wish you had studied something different? If so, what would it be and why?

Believe it or not in college I was actually a Physical Education major at UMass Amherst. I graduated in 1977 and went out in search of work in my field. I began working as a coach and a teacher which I continued for 4 years. If I could go back now and change what I studied I would. Instead of majoring in phys. ed, I would go back and enter the business school. A business major could have helped me in the line of work that I’m in now.

Tell us your career journey post-graduation through now in less than 200 words. Then tell us: If there was one thing you could do differently in that journey, what would it be?

After graduating from UMass Amherst with a phys. ed. degree I began working in the educational field. I was a substitute teacher for awhile and then I took a teaching job at a private school. When I was around 25 I began helping my brother in the restaurant business. I had a little bit of experience in college. While in school, I had friends that worked in restaurants so I tried it myself. I was just trying to make some money. Once I got into the business I realized it was hard work, but it has its advantages. A lot of sports guys come in here: Larry Bird, Bill Walton, Bobby Orr, Cam Neely, and Tony Hawk are just a few of the guys that have stopped in. I guess being right across from the Banknorth Garden helps.

Name 1-2 things you’ve learned to date about career that you think young professionals (ages 18-40) would want to know.

Young professionals need to realize that you’re out there on your own. Every day is a different challenge when you run your own business. It’s tough because you are always there, and even when you aren’t, it’s your face on the front of the business. You are primarily responsible for the business and how it’s run. Most people think of the restaurant business as laid back but it’s not glamorous.

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