Event date: September 3, 2022
As the pandemic begins to tail off, we are finally emerging from our lockdown chrysalis and beginning to experience this new country – well, new to me. Growing up in Europe and New Zealand, I am still overwhelmed by the sheer size and theatricality of American restaurants. Dave & Buster’s is no different – in fact, along with the Cheesecake Factory, it’s probably one of the most amazingly, violently American dining experiences I have had so far. Not negative, just… overwhelmingly American. Culture shock to the max.
The history of Dave & Buster’s is also very “American Dream”. Basically, a restaurant and a games arcade decided to join forces back in the 80s, and now, they are a bit of an institution.
George hasn’t been to Dave & Buster’s since he was a child, and we haven’t had occasion to visit many arcades at all – they are on the wane in New Zealand, and most of the few that are still around are pretty run down.
This was… like finally having a real Coke after drinking off-brand knock-offs all your life. The lights! The noise! The sheer size of the space!
We put our names down for a table and had a tour around while we waited to be called. Watching George’s eyes light up as we looked around was really awesome, and certainly helped me handle the over-stimulus while I adjusted.
So many different types of entertainment, from axe-throwing to classic arcade games – it was an experience just walking around, let alone actually playing anything! And on the big screens all around, there were all kinds of sports playing.
We were glad to be seated in the quieter part of the dining area, and luckily, they also had what is becoming my favourite menu item here – a steak served with delicious blue cheese salad. George got a burger for a change – usually, he’s the one ordering salad.
Even though we shared the chips and the salad, we still ended up with plenty of leftovers, which are great for an easy lunch the next day. And now, fuelled up and ready to go, we took on the games themselves!
I’m not much of a video game player, but I was happy to watch George – and then we played a few 2-player games, before I found the coin-pushing game and settled in while George explored. I like games like that, simple and mildly strategic. I did pretty well, and earnt enough points for us to get something from the store. It’s obviously a rip-off, but still, fun.
After we made our selection, we decided to try a couple more games to use up our credits.
Here’s our video about the Dave & Buster’s experience:
Next, we headed into the mall for some shopping. It was great to see that there were more people there – it was Labor Weekend, so there were holiday deals and people had more time off, but still – nice to see Clackamas mall alive again for a bit.