IF PETE and Helen Palaigos can get Annapolis city fathers on the stick, Pete's Place, their funky pool hall on Main Street, will soon surrender its four pool tables, get a facelift, add hard liquor and Beck's to its booze list, exchange its regular clientele for a preppier group, and become another Georgetown-on-the-Severn bar.

In most towns, the loss of a pool hall is an improvement. Yet, in this once-quiet town, Pete's Place and its next-door neighbor, Chick and Ruth's Delly, are among the last links to the serene past that has been fading away over the last decade and a half.

When the change comes, 62-year-old Pete will have to break tradition and have a telephone line installed.

But for now, he'll continue using the pay phone in the alley behind Chick and Ruth's. And Pete's Place -- opened by Helen's father in 1919 -- will keep its pool tables, its assortment of video games, its dozen or so chrome-and-vinyl bar stools and its standfast, T-shirted regulars who come to down beers, eat hot dogs, watch the Orioles games on TV, read newspapers and swap stories.