by: Nelson Hicks Updated:
DULUTH, Ga. - New video games, new food items and new drinks; that was the pitch on a recent email that arrived into the inbox at Nelson's News on wsbtv.com to check out Dave & Buster's.
For those not familiar, Dave & Buster's is a bar, restaurant and massive arcade combined into one. If you've ever driven on I-75 in Marietta, chances are you've seen one of the three locations around Atlanta. There's a Dave & Buster's in Duluth and Lawrenceville, too.
Nelson's News visited the Duluth location to check out some of the new offerings and to talk with general manager Devon Kelley about the changes. From Dark Escape 4D to the pretzel dogs to the original snow cone, this wasn't the same Dave & Buster's I remember from from my last visit nearly 10 years ago.
“When you visit us to eat, drink and play, you will definitely find something new at Dave & Buster’s,” said Dolf Berle, president and chief operating officer, “We want everyone to come in and check out these new games, and then play five of them for free.”
Dave & Buster’s rolled out eight new games this summer, including some that are exclusive to the dining and entertainment chain. Mobile gamers will certainly recognize some of the titles; Temple Run and Cut the Rope join other former apps like Fruit Ninja and Doodle Jump to make the jump from phones to giant-sized versions. Dave & Buster's has put 20 new games into locations in the last year.
“Temple Run was a hugely popular mobile app, but playing it on a 42-inch screen with the opportunity to win cool stuff takes it to the next level," said Kevin Bachus, senior vice president of entertainment & games strategy. "Where else can you win an iPad for being great at Temple Run?”
Most memorable on the visit by Nelson's News was Dark Escape 4D. The game features zombies jumping out of every corner and even measures your heart rate.
“Dark Escape 4D is a descent into terror unlike any other game I’ve ever played," Bachus said. "The entire experience is jaw-dropping and pulse-pounding. There’s a reason it measures your heart rate.”
The company's “Summer of Games” promotion wraps up later this month, but between now and Aug. 25, Dave & Buster’s will give guests a free play on five of the newest games when they purchase or re-charge a PowerCard.
On the menu, Dave & Buster's now offers much more than just the typical bar fare. Sure, you can get potato skins, burgers and beer, but Nelson's News gave a few other items a shot, too. The poppin' potatoes were worth a shot for an appetizer. Fried and crispy on the outside, light on the inside, these bite-sized potato puffs were tossed with garlic butter and parmesan cheese. The poppin- potatoes were served with a homemade sweet and spicy ketchup, too.
For the entree, the mac and cheese got the call. Grilled seasoned chicken breast and applewood smoked bacon, tossed with cavatappi pasta and creamy aged sharp cheddar cheese sauce, topped with a garlic breadcrumb crust and baked brown and bubbly. That's the description for the dish. To say it was good would be an understatement.
Other dishes include a variety of steaks, ribs, burgers, sandwiches and pastas. They join a number of new additions such as bacon-wrapped beef medallions and grilled shrimp and the grilled balsamic chicken on the menu.
“For example, we’re the only place where you can get our new Potato Chip-Crusted Chicken,” said Sean Gleason, CMO at Dave & Buster's. “Chicken breaded with crushed potato chips and a rich French onion dip gravy make this unlike any fried chicken you’ve ever had.”
In the bar, from the original snow cone to the strawberry sangria to the Miami ice, there are plenty of drinks to taste.
“Cocktails with flavored ice cubes have been really popular in upscale clubs, but no other chain has rolled them out nationally,” stated Gleason, “We’ve got two new cocktails with strawberry flavored ice cubes in them: the strawberry summerita and strawberry sangria.”
After sampling new drinks and eating all the new foods, there's a way to burn them off, too. Heck, you might even burn a few calories just watching this duo.