There’s a fine line between passion and obsession. For Glen Agritelley, a smiley, ponytail-wearing 53-year-old entrepreneur, that line is blurred, especially when it comes to business, tennis, or his ultimate inspiration—the late musician Roy Orbison.
Agritelley, the proprietor of TBarM Racquet Club, upscale clothier Sebastian’s Closet, and Mercy Wine Bar, owns the largest private collection of Orbison memorabilia, including the singer’s 1985 Porsche Cabriole, signed guitars, and stage clothes. Why Roy? “It’s the voice,” he says. “Just the pure talent.”
The Big O is a big inspiration for Agritelley, and in 2004 he indulged his inner showman, releasing the CD So This Is Love, a collection of cover songs. And much like the Orbison, Eric Clapton, and Willie Nelson songs Agritelley sings, the businessman breathes new life into old ventures.
Take TBarM. In 1997, Agritelley invested $3 million in the stodgy tennis club, added yoga instruction, chiropractic care, and physical therapy, lowering the client demographic by 10 years and increasing membership exponentially. In 2001, he morphed the stuffy Sebastian’s Closet into a world-class men’s and women’s clothier by focusing on “out-front style and fashion.” And with the launch of Mercy, Agritelley broke even in five months, instead of the projected 16, by serving upscale wine by the glass.
Agritelley is still a busy man. This summer, his company, Majic Publishing, will release Bucky Barrett: Sideman to the Stars, a biography of Orbison’s guitarist. He also backed the independent film The Headhunter, the story of Elvis’ younger stepbrother-turned-bodyguard.
“I’m passionate about the things that I like,” Agritelley says. “I don’t have a lot of casual interests.”