Monday, May 10, 2010

So, You Want to Start an Arcade?

2600 here, some of you might remember a little while back when I mentioned that I am in the very beginning stages of trying to start an arcade related business. I figured, why not blog about my misadventure with trying to open up an arcade. Be sure to sign up on our twitter account as I will be posting updates there as well. For my first post, I will write some information on how far I've gotten and what I am working on.

I have narrowed down the business venture to one of the following categories:

1.) Arcade Showroom

Since I have a full time job, I am looking at the ideas of a part time business. An Arcade Showroom would allow me to be open on weekends, and on weekdays by appointment. I could also try hosting some arcade events/tournaments on weekends as well. A big thanks must go out to Richie Knucklez and his place in Flemington, NJ. After visiting his place and talking with him at various tournaments, I kept the idea of a showroom in the back of my mind.

2.) Arcade Cafe
Again, another part time venture. This idea involves merging two of my favorite past times, arcade games and tea. Naturally coffee would be offered as well. This idea would be explored more in a situation where city zoning issues arise. We have to face it, some places just will not allow an arcade. A cafe that happens to have a couple games however.... This idea came from both reading and talking about the origins of Tokyo Game Action. Tokyo Game Action started out as a cafe type business in Woonsocket, RI. I never made it to the original location, but I did spend some time at the Winchendon, Mass. location.

3.) Arcade
A straight up, part time arcade where one could also buy the machines. This is kind of like the Arcade Showroom idea, but it would operate as an arcade on some weekday evenings and on weekends. I would also host tournaments/events. I would also serve food pre-packaged food as to try and avoid any extra licensing issues (start grilling and frying and the business becomes a whole new identity). A big thanks goes to Brian from SubstanceTV who, over a conversation through gmail gave me his input on the relation between arcades and food.

As a final note, the type of arcade I am going for is one that covers the 90's to current arcade games (especially imports). While I love classic arcade games, there are already a few places in NH that already cover them. For an arcade you have the American Classic Arcade Museum over at Funspot, My Arcade Repair, and some other independent people who restore and sell classic arcade games and pinball machines.

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