By Jessica Crotty
Some of the outer perimeter lots around Orland Square Mall have seemed a bit desolate in recent years. Orland Square Theaters closed in the late 1990s, and Al’s Diner, 56 Orland Square Drive, served its last customer in 1999. More recently, Sam Maguire’s Irish Pub, 39 Orland Square Drive, closed in January.
Things, however, appear to be looking up around the mall, at least in the form of food and fun for families.
|Interactive video games can keep families|
glued to the screen at Dave & Busters.
Dave & Buster’s opened Sept. 22 in the former theater lot, next to the Toys “R” Us. Another parcel east of the mall that was home to a second Orland Square Theater later became home to Robert Morris College.
“We’re very happy to have the old theaters taken down after several years of being vacant,” Orland Park Mayor Daniel McLaughlin said.
Dave & Buster’s, McLaughlin added, is a good fit for the village and the region.
“There isn’t much of that type of entertainment in the southwest suburbs and I think it will be a big success,” he said.
While the Dave & Buster’s Orland location is slightly smaller than those at the Addison and Chicago locations, it boasts the same amount of games and amenities. Plus, it’s the inside that General Manager Mike McCormick says is so impressive.
“Every Dave & Buster’s has its own character,” McCormick said. “The décor in Orland Park is so modern. It has a definite wow factor when you walk in. This is the place to be.”
With everything Dave & Buster’s has to offer guests, it’s more than just an arcade, McCormick said. Yet, games are still the biggest draw. With 140 games and 100 player stations (big video games that accommodate multiple players simultaneously), there are more than 200 games in the whole building for people to play at one time. Gamers will find everything from the arcade classics to the latest interactive and video games.
After a few hours of playing, guests can hit the Winner’s Circle to redeem their tickets for prizes that range from electric guitars to a PS3 or Xbox to small candies and gifts for the kids.
“Dave & Buster’s is all about a fun, interactive atmosphere. We know our guests have a fantastic time when they are here. We can tell just by the look on someone’s face when they win 1,000 tickets,” McCormick said. “When we put this type of entertainment out there, they have a blast with it.”
As much as Dave &Buster’s caters to families, it’s also a late-night hangout for the young adult crowd or parents looking for some fun without their children. After a 10 p.m. “kiddie call,” or curfew for anyone under the age of 21, the place becomes an adult playground where they can hang out and interact with their friends, McCormick said. And with a 2 a.m. closing time on Fridays and Saturdays (midnight Sundays through Thursdays), adults get plenty of time to eat, drink and party.
“You don’t have to go to a movie theater and out to dinner again,” McCormick said. “Why pull out your credit card several times each night when you can do everything at one place? We’ve got everything they could want: a restaurant, sports bar and entertainment.”
Sports fans should feel right at home at Dave & Buster’s. They can cheer on their favorite teams on 65-inch TVs in the bar and 80-inch screens in the restaurant. Guests watching the Bears at the Orland Park location can play the Watch and Win game in the bar. When the Bears score or complete whatever task an employee chooses, a name is drawn to spin a wheel for prizes that could include free food, the whole bar getting a percentage off their bill, a table getting free dessert, t-shirts, or other prizes.
“The game is great fun for everyone in the bar, even if they are not there to watch football or they’ve been dragged along by their husband or boyfriend. They can still have fun interacting with the crowd, too,” McCormick said.
Two of the many things that make Dave & Buster’s more than just an arcade are what McCormick calls the “FUN”ction or party rooms. These flexible rooms can be rented for birthday parties, holiday gatherings or any other special event. They are equipped for business meetings/luncheons with an 80” TV and a projector, connections for laptops, iPhones or iPads, and presentation capabilities.
“These rooms allow you to separate yourself from the rest of the building if you want to, but there’s so much going on at Dave & Buster’s that you’re going to want to be involved in everything,” McCormick said. “We have continued fun on a daily basis. Where else can you go for that?”
McCormick is excited about being in Orland Park. Like McLaughlin, McCormick said the location, next to the mall, is perfect location because it’s right in the heart of everything.
For more information, visit www.daveandbusters.com.www.daveandbusters.com