Thursday, February 14, 2013
Former CEO of SEGA opens new arcade-style restaurant Bar Fun Dining
The restaurant contains nine arcade games, many of which are multi-player.
FLOWER MOUND Having worked in the restaurant and video game business for years, it was only a matter of time before Cory Haynes combined both concepts into one local experience.
Haynes spent 27 years working for Dave and Busters, beginning as a bartender and working his way up the corporate ladder. In fact, he was one of Dave and Busters' founding team members.
Haynes also spent time as president and CEO of video game giant SEGA.
Now, anyone who visits his new creation, Bar Fun Dining, can see exactly where he draws his inspiration from.
Bar Fun Dining, which opened in September 2012, is located at 5801 Long Prairie Road in Flower Mound. It features a wide variety of food and beverage options, as well as a video game section that he said is as popular with the children as it is with the adults.
"I definitely understand how to marry the food and beverage industry with video games," Haynes said.
But Haynes chose to develop a smaller scale version of it.
"I didn't want it to be large scale to where you have to be in Dallas to get a lot of people," Haynes said.
Going small, he said, actually helps because it makes for a more family-friendly atmosphere.
"Moms and dads feel more comfortable coming here for dinner or the bar scene while their children go off and play games," Haynes said. "There is less fear of losing your kids. There is a concern, even if the kids are 13 or 14, of going to a big place."
And by smaller, Haynes refers to his 6,500-square-foot facility that seats 200. Bar Fun Dining features fewer games – nine to be exact – than other similar companies. But he said the interest is still there.
Games include an interactive Pac Man, where players compete against each other while still trying to avoid Inky, Blinky, and the other ghosts.
There is also a racing game where up to four people can compete against each other.
"There is a lot of interaction between multiple people," Haynes said. "Part of the success is playing off the competitiveness. We have some games where you play in tandem, and we have a couple of experience-type games, including one that's in 3D. And we have a mix of prize games, where the prizes range from a stuffed animal to an iPad."
Haynes said between each game is a lot of space, which he also said is key.
"Some places shove the games in a room, and it's too close to where you feel uneasy," Haynes said. "When they're spread out, there's not a crowd around the kids. And when adults play the games, they feel uneasy with a lot of kids around."
Just as much thought goes into the food, Haynes said. Everything is made from scratch, and the only things that are frozen are the shrimp and the fries.
"We make our own sauces and dressing," Haynes said. "And in the arcade environment, that's something you never see."
Haynes stacks his food up with any restaurant in town.
"So many people come in and even apologize because they admit that they didn't expect the food to be this good," Haynes said. "They expect the type of food you get in other venues like this."
Along typical menu items are different options, such as short rib tacos, chicken and waffles, and buffalo chicken rolls.
As far as the drink selection, Haynes mixes up the options. He said the full bar offers the widest beer selection in the area with 53 craft brews, imports, and domestics. He also serves a variety of wines and cocktails.
Some of the “off the beaten path” types of beer include White Rascal, Dogfish Head, Rogue Dead Guy, and Belhaven Scottish Ale.
Haynes said the patio dining and the five big screen TVs only adds to the appeal.
"I was thinking about the small urban market but still wanted to give kids something to keep them occupied while the guy and his wife hang out and talk," Haynes said.
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