Monday May 03 2010
Dave & Buster’s doors open to welcoming crowds
By: Brad Smith The Press Tribune
The Fountains’ latest newcomer celebrated its grand opening Monday morning with hundreds of people attending. Dave & Buster’s officially opened its doors at 11:30 a.m. and general manager Brandon Ball was shocked, surprised and happy all at the same time when crowds of people flooded the 17,000-square-foot restaurant and video game arcade. “I’d expected a good-sized crowd,” he said. “But, I wasn’t expecting a sheer volume of people for a Monday opening. I have more than 200 people in here already – and our doors have only been open for a few hours.” Ball said the restaurant had hosted a few special sneak previews on Thursday and over the weekend. “We had a positive reaction from those who attended,” he said. “Evidently, good word of mouth spreads fast around here. I’m OK with that.” Ball took to the floor, personally escorting customers to their tables or booths. Now and then, he checked on the serving staff and other employees. “The staff’s doing great,” he said. “They’re holding up very well. In time, everyone will have his or her own pattern down and be able to do this in their sleep.” The company has hired more than 160 local men and women, filling various full- and part-time positions, Ball said. “Some employees like myself have transferred here,” he said. “But Dave & Buster’s wants to be a part of the community. The best way to do that is contributing to the local economy and hiring many people from the area is a good idea.” Lisa Carlson, a server from Folsom, was very happy to be working. “It feels good to be working again,” she said. “And I like this company. They’re making a serious effort to be a part of the Roseville area and support it.” Started in 1982 and based out of Dallas, there are more than 60 Dave & Buster’s restaurants across the county. Each one that offers a wide variety of dining, full-service bar and Dave & Buster’s signature centerpiece – The Million Dollar Midway and its more than 200 games. Classic video games such as “Space Invaders” and “Centipede” can be found among the modern-day favorites “Guitar Hero” and “Dance Dance Revolution.” Nearly three hours into its opening, many tables and booths were filled and the 48-foot-long granite bar was busy. The Million Dollar Midway was busy as booth adults and kids played video games. A few families were having lunch as they counted tickets won by playing the games. While Dave & Buster’s target market is adults, Ball said that families and children are welcome. “Minors have to be accompanied by an adult,” Ball said. “We sell alcohol here and we’re very serious about checking identification. But, families are welcome here and we want them to have as much fun as everyone else. “Minors just have to be chaperoned.” On the Midway, everyone appeared to enjoying the video games. “I’ve been waiting for two years for this place to open,” said Mike Barlow, Citrus Heights, said. “I love Dave & Buster’s. Food’s great, the games are fun and you can’t find anything else like this in the area.” Carmichael resident Wesley Baker has been to other Dave and Buster’s before. Like Barlow, he was glad that Roseville now has one. “Always before, it was a two- or three-hour drive to a Dave & Buster’s,” he said. “Not any more. Just hop in the car and it’s a short drive. You can’t beat that.” Both men agreed that Dave & Buster’s was something that Roseville has needed for a while. “It’s geared for people who like good things,” Barlow said. “Good food. Good drinks. Good games. I’ll be coming here a lot.” Baker said he would be coming back as well. “But, I’m bringing a lot of people with me,” he said. Ball said the large turnout on the first day was a good sign. “It tells me that people like us and want us here,” he said. “That’s fine by me. I like Roseville a lot and I plan on staying here for a long time.” Brad Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.