The first and only time I’d ever been to Dave & Buster’s was for a friend’s birthday party years ago. The food wasn’t stellar and the environment was a little too kitsch for me, so I skipped out early and never looked back since. However, I have to tip my hat to the impressive renovations at the new flagship store, which just opened yesterday at 9450 N. Central Expressway, across the street from the now-closed location. It’s less Chuck-E-Cheese for grown ups and more new age Tron, which makes it instantly more attractive.
One cliché comparison comes to mind when walking inside, which is Vegas. The whole concept is rearranged to make the typical Dave & Buster’s atmosphere a more modern and technology fueled experience. Since this location was formerly an AMC theater, the spacing for all the new arcade features is perfectly accommodating, and the high ceilings give it that casino vibe.
New and improved features include a double-sided bar where one area focuses on sports and the other on nightlife, 171 arcade games, a prize store, and cleverly titled “Fun-Ction” rooms for private gatherings that are uniquely decorated to incorporate the landmarks of Dallas. I was told this idea of location-specific memorabilia has never been done before, so the large murals of the Pegasus, ferris wheel, and Deep Ellum robot are purely for us Dallasites.
Speaking of donut holes, I have to add this tidbit for anyone who is a fan of secret menus, as I always am: contributing blogger at Mommy’s Wishlist, Lea Ann Stundins, was craving a chocolate martini at our media preview on Thursday, but alas, Dave & Buster’s no longer serves a chocolate martini. To rectify this martini situation, creative and generous bartender Brendan Nix came up with his own concoction to quench Lea Ann’s cravings. Needless to say, she absolutely loved it and decided it had to be ordered again. We decided there had to be some sort of side-car to garnish the drink. What better than a chocolate donut hole? Fellow bartender Peggy Sangret then made a similar white chocolate martini with a donut hole, and thus, a super secret drink menu ( featuring the Chocolate Donut Hole Martini and the White Chocolate Donut Hole Martini) was born. They both come highly recommended from press personnel, in case you were questioning it.
After 10 p.m., the venue is closed off to adults only, which makes this place a pretty happening spot in North Dallas. I never thought I would consider a Dave & Buster’s “happening,” but I had a pretty stellar time (as did my fellow media compadres), so survey says it’s a win for the new location.
Fantastic D Magazine intern Iris Zubair graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in December 2011 with a BA in Magazine Journalism. She has written for Austin Monthly Magazine and UT’s student newspaper, The Daily Texan.