The second Arkansas location of Dallas-based restaurant/entertainment chain Dave & Buster’s is scheduled to open at 11 a.m. Monday (Feb. 5) in a 17,000-square-foot location at the Pinnacle Hills Promenade in Rogers.
The concept brings food, drink and entertainment under one roof, with a restaurant and sports bar and more than 130 arcade games.
The Rogers complex occupies most of the former food court area at the Promenade, in front of the Malco Pinnacle Hills Cinema. It’s a smaller format than most Dave & Buster’s stores, a strategy the restaurant is implementing to enter smaller markets with less available real estate.
In its third-quarter earnings report Dec. 7, Dave & Buster’s Entertainment Inc. (NASDAQ: PLAY) said the smaller format stores are aimed at helping the company grow beyond its original goals of 211 units in the U.S. and Canada.
The company reported revenue of $250 million in the third quarter, up 9.3% from the third quarter of 2016, but off from the Wall Street estimate of $255.3 million. The company is planning to release its earnings report for the fourth quarter (ending Feb. 4) and the full year of 2017 in early April.
Jeff Cleary, the company’s national director of sales, said the smaller concept doesn’t skimp on the company’s calling card — fun. The Rogers complex has more than 10,000 square feet dedicated to the game and arcade area, called the Midway. The game area also has its own dedicated staff, led by an amusement manager and several game technicians.
Cleary says the atmosphere will appeal to all age groups.
“We still deliver the same amount of excitement that Dave & Buster’s brings, we just shrunk the seating size a bit, based on the size of the market,” he said. There are about 250 seats in Dave & Buster’s, but Cleary said the building’s total occupancy is just under 1,100.
Dave & Buster’s operates more than 100 locations in 36 states and Canada. The Rogers store is the 107th location. Dave & Buster’s entered the Arkansas market in June 2016 with a 30,000-square-foot store in Little Rock.
According to the company, the Rogers store will bring more than 130 jobs to the region. Jason Melcher has been hired as general manager. He spent the past 10 years working at Outback Steakhouse in Rogers, the past six as general manager.
“I’ve been ready for this day for four months,” Melcher said of the grand opening. “We’re all looking forward to being Northwest Arkansas’ go-to spot to eat, drink, play and watch sports.”
The venue also features approximately 30, 72-inch televisions and three large projection screens.
In addition to the arcade games, the Midway features everything from air hockey and basketball hoops to virtual simulators. Tickets collected from game play can be redeemed at the Winner’s Circle, where customers can purchase anything from candy to a PlayStation 4, Xbox or GoPro camera.
Besides the arcade games and television watching, Melcher said the chef-crafted menu of American fare and innovative cocktails should be a draw all their own.
Hours will be Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. until midnight. Closing time will be pushed back until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Guests who aren’t 21 must leave the premises by 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
David Faulkner, general manager of the Promenade, said he’s eager to welcome Dave & Buster’s as a “main draw” to the retail center, and even more excited that young professionals in Benton County will have another option to spend their money.
“We did some research with the city and the [Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce] about a year ago and the top complaint for this market was the lack of places for young professionals to go and have fun without having to drive to Fayetteville,” Faulkner said. “It’s great to have another option.”
Dave & Buster’s is the latest eatery to join the roster of tenants at the Promenade. Big Orange, a burger business based in Little Rock, opened in November in a space previously occupied by Fish City Grill. MidiCi, a pizza place, opened next door. Coming soon next to both of them is Pie Bros, another locally owned concept featuring pot pies. Faulkner said it’s scheduled to open Feb. 14.
A Mexican restaurant called Local Lime is also working to open in the former Texas Land & Cattle space later this spring. Local Lime is owned by Yellow Rocket Concepts, which also owns Big Orange.
“We have a lot of activity going on right now, and it gives our customers a variety of great options,” Faulkner said.