Dave & Busters may have been the pioneers in the “eatertainment” industry (and I’ve spent many fun night there), but new concepts are starting to make their mark across the country. As more and more diners look for an “experience” with their meals these concepts are stepping in to fill the need. Let’s take a look at some of the growing concepts that are bringing diversity and excitement to the act of eating out.
Named one of Fast Company Magazine’s Most Innovative Companies in the World in 2018, Punch Bowl Social has a lot going on at its multiple locations and is expanding rapidly. Diners cannot get enough of this out-of-the-ordinary eatertainment brand. Fun activities include vintage arcades, bowling, billiards, Jenga, karaoke, shuffleboard and plenty of private event space for your next party. But Punch Bowl Social isn’t just about the games, they have a restaurant that serves up enticing throwback food (A “Serious(ly) Sloppy Joe” anyone?) and craft beverages.
You’ve probably heard of TopGolf already; as it’s popularity continues to sweep across the country. You don’t have to be a golf enthusiast (or even to have ever golfed) to enjoy hitting balls at TopGolf. With nine unique games that include hitting towards targets or just hitting as far as humanely possible, there is something for everyone. And unlike a normal trip to the range, food and drinks are delivered right to your bay.
With many locations across America, Spin offers excellent dining and ping pong. The idea was to create a place where people could socialize and play. The cuisine is all shareable, snackable, and delicious. Spin uses only locally-sourced and sustainable ingredients in as many ways as possible. All drinks and food items are enjoyed with a paddle in hand in true eatertainment fashion.
This brand is a bistro, bowling and bocce. The Italian/American cuisine comes from Pinstripes’ scratch kitchen unlike any bowling alley food you’ve ever had previously. This growing concept elevates the traditional bowling experience with good food and lots of fun to be had. It is also great to hosting your next party with or without the kids.
This two-level London export darts bar boasts technology that adds a new dimension to an age-old game. With unique gaming options – including Shoots and Ladders darts – everyone from beginners to serious darts enthusiasts will find Flight Club entertaining. While currently they only have one US outpost, in Chicago, we expect to see rapid growth from this innovative concept. The menu was designed by celebrity chef Rick Gresh and features a raw bar as well as handhelds and shareables.
Located across several states, Main Event features bowling with state-of-the-art electronic scoring. It’s a welcoming place to have parties, special events, company outings, and more. They also offer laser tag, arcade games, gravity ropes, billiards, and mini-golf so you’ll never want to leave. Each location also includes a bar and full-service restaurant so whether you’re craving a grilled sirloin steak or teriyaki salmon, you’re all set.
Amidst the array of tropical drinks, food trucks, DJs, and extraordinary staff, you will find ten regulation-sized shuffleboard courts. This fun vintage-Florida themed concept brings shuffleboard front and center and has seen serious popularity at their first two locations in New York and Chicago. While not boasting their own kitchen, they do offer good eating provided by a rotation of food trucks and have their own bar to provide their signature cocktails!
There are many karaoke bars but none quite like Voicebox. This west coast concept private karaoke suites that are rented for groups for maximum comfort and enjoyment. Each suite has a flat screen TV, two microphones, remote-controlled song selection, and personal service. A variety of snacks and appetizers, along with more substantial food, are available for parties of any size. Customers can also slip into the lounge, where snacks and sakés abound.
It’s hard to think of anything better than good food and enjoyable group play. These concepts all bring together the best of both worlds and we expect they will continue their expansions in 2019.