The games, freedom to move around, and built-in noise and flashing lights is a great ambiance -- for the right kind of event.
We recently hosted a birthday party at Dave and Buster's, Westfield Mall, Arcadia, for one of our international high school students staying with us. It was our way of tapping into Southern California pop culture and international culture.
The last time I had been to D&Bs was about four years earlier for a business networking lunch and it had really changed. They just announced a 11.0% increase in comparable store sales for the past year.
They renovated it about a year and a half ago. The D&B's in the Westfield Mall, Arcadia, is on the second floor. My wife and the kids had arrived earlier to set up the room where it was being held.
I walked past the bar area and to the right and into the one room I remembered. There were three parties in that particular room but not the one I was trying to find.
I walked into the game room and the flashing lights, music, and pinging, dinging noises of the video games told me this was a place for instant stimulation and instant gratification. Wow.
The game floor was enormous and in the middle of it was an escalator heading to a 21 and over upper lounge. I felt disoriented and the only rooms I saw were the restrooms. I made good use of the men's room and stepped out again, determine to find the birthday party room.
Servers were zipping in and out of the kitchen and I tagged behind one heading along a hallway that opened to a main dining area. And there was the party room. It was long and narrow with a dining table and chairs for about twenty guests. The cost was $25 per hour.
The server was charming and sweet and very pregnant which caught the attention of the high school kids. They helped her with plates and drinks so she wouldn't get too tired. Very sweet.
The kids came and went to eat and play games. The cost of the room with food, drinks, and game cards for about twenty-two guests was about $16 per person. We had the room from 4:30 until 9:30 so I'd say it was economical.
My only disappointment was the cost of the games. I got behind the steering wheel of a racing game and dang if it didn't seem to cost $3 for me to keep wiping out.
Dave and Busters is like a big kids' version of ChuckECheese. Loud but fun and easy to handle.