Malibu Grand Prix in Redwood City may be closing its doors for good, but in Southern California, the Family Entertainment Center continues to thrive. Round 1 offers their guests a selection of awesomeness that includes bowling, pool tables, air hockey games, redemption prizes and of course arcade games. They have restaurants in all of their locations and use the games as a lure to attract hungry diners. Like the barcades that have sprung up over the last decade, Round 1 is using the lure of the games to drive higher margin opportunities.
They set up their locations in malls where rent may be a little more expensive, but they can help capture more foot traffic. By making it easy for people to visit them, it ensure that they can serve the most guests. They have a huge selection of games, including a lot of recent ones.
After successfully opening up locations in Puente Hills & Moreno Valley, they’ve now expanded to Lakewood California. Phil Arrington with ArcadeHeroes.com was able to visit their new location and published a great review on it.
“Round1 went all out of this location and trying to grab whatever crowd that’s still going to “KDB” (Kitchen, Den Bar a.k.a. the former Gameworks) and “Regency Arcade”. For one, there are so many UFO catchers in this place. They flooded this location with them. There are so many redemption games, some I haven’t seen like the new PacMan Ticket Mania from Raw Thrills. What surprised me is how Dragon Punch and King of the Hammer is missing from this location.
Their mix combines the old with the new. How many arcades still have a Final Fight? A Mark of the Wolf that’s not in a bootleg 256 games in 1 board? A Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter that’s not in a laundry Mat? And right next to them is a TTT2: Unlimited (Tekken Tag Tournment 2), Gundam and Super Street Fighter 4 2012? Certainly not many in So Cal these days.”
It sure sounds like an interesting mix of games. On the downside, Arrington says that the odor from the Cinnabon location in the mall permeates the location, the games are set to $1.00 per play and that there are a lot of teenagers that hang out there, so older patrons may still prefer the barcade experience.
Overall it sounds like a pretty sweet setup and with this being their 3rd entertainment center that they’ve opened, it sounds like they have a winning combination when it comes to their business plan. The most interesting part of the entire article actually came from an Arcade Heroes commenter. When someone mentioned they couldn’t wait for them to expand to Northern California, a commentor named Kiyobi wrote “word on the street is that R1 has plans to expand into Norcal in 2014.”
Since anyone can comment, we have to treat it like a rumor right now, but I’ve found that more often then not, these sorts of tidbits tend to be accurate. Here’s hoping that Kiyobi is right, so that All You Can Arcade will get to do a review of their next location.