So about two weeks ago I get an email for Dave and Buster's grand opening over in Cary Towne Center. And c'mon now, but what guy can resist beer, bar food and video games?! The only thing that would have made it more tempting would have been some football but what can you do, it was going to be a Tuesday afternoon. I see some pictures on their Facebook for a friends and family soft opening but I have to wait one more day, boo! But finally the Media Event day rolls around so I shoot down to Cary and let's just say it was pretty impressive.
Inside we're greeted by the managers and marketing team for this new Cary location. Some basic factoids: this location is the 65th in N. American, runs nearly 30,000 square feet and has a capacity of over a 1,000 people. And I'm PRETTY certain this location will be hitting its capacity often in family-friendly Cary. Today I get to hang out with Gabrielle (@nutellaisevil), John H (@TriangleExplorer) and Lauryn C (@yelpnctriangle).
Our tour guide is seasoned D&B veteran Norman from Miami and he takes us through the sports bar area. Humongous screens in one corner, I'd have to guess maybe 96" with a bevy of four tops in the space. They've got a prize wheel for trivia nights where they'll raffle out assorted discounts, coupons and shwag. Further in is their brightly lit bar with over 80 cocktails, 10 beers on tap and another slew of normal sized HD panels for your sports entertainment pleasure. While the space is big, the noise from other areas seemed pretty well controlled but not sure how everything will play out with a full crowd.
And then we move on to the gaming area, woohoo! Here's where Dave and Buster's gets really interesting. We get a card charged with $10 to muck around some games and they've got some really unusual and unique ones. They're flashy, bright and cutting-edge, when you've got a space like this you have to go big! I start off with a huge Plinko game, a disk gets dropped and bounces through the pins into a prize slot... And whaddya know, beginners luck but I somehow end up with 500 coupons spewing out of my game! Give me another woohoo! Also on Wednesday nights, Dave and Buster's games will be 1/2 price, perfect for families....
We move a bit further in and spy a four-way air-hockey game. Four discs get spit out and it's game on. Last person to give up 5 goals, wins. Given the square shape of the table and goal slots on each edge, it's sorta tricky trying to find the right angle to surprise an opponent. But eventually Lauryn gets knocked out, followed by myself. But we still play on, punishing the last two players until Gabi emerges victorious! Moving through the gaming space, there are a lot of cool games to collect tickets for Dave and Buster's prizes. I try out a fun Homer Simpson soccer game, the girls gravitate to skee-ball while John takes a shot at the giant crane trying to snare a plush animal. In the prize redemption area you have plenty of choices for all ages, or you can get your tickets redeemed and saved to your card for future use.
We move on to the private rooms which hold up to 60 people with prices ranging from $20 - $60/per person. I had to ask because in my real job, we're looking at using Dave and Buster's for some events. Inside they've laid out some goody bags, food for display, cocktails for display and have a side table for the real eats. And it's bar food but done very nicely. Everything from wings, burgers, spinach-artichoke dip, sausage in a blanket, along with more upscale dishes like seared salmon and more. Very nice job overall with the food, but of course we'll have to see how things hold out once they open to the public. The drinks look awesome but I'm stuck with a diet coke since I'm headed back to work, boo!
We say our thank you's on the way out, the whole Dave and Buster's team is excited to get this place kicked off but they are pros at doing these openings. With 50+ new locations to be opened over the next two years, they better be! But given that this Cary location is only the second in NC, this Dave and Buster's Cary is going to be uber-popular. So I can honestly say I had a lot of fun in my 2 hours visiting this spot. Having the whole place to yourself was like being a kid in a candy store but we're all curious to see what kind of a crowd they draw here. And that we shall see pretty soon since they are opening today for reals, rock on Dave and Busters- Cary!
Dave and Buster's Cary - Reviewer: Ron Wen - Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars