Beyond the Tenth Entry:
By biconews On 15 Feb, 2000 At 05:00 AM | Categorized As Archives | With 0 Comments

By Amy McDowell

Have you ever dreamt of returning to childhood, but this time, it has a twist? Here’s your chance. We found the ultimate over-21 playground: Dave and Buster’s.

Located on the waterfront in Philadelphia (right down the street from Egypt), Dave and Buster’s is an arcade, pool hall, bar, restaurant and diner all rolled into one. Talk about something for everyone!

Arriving there, we were overwhelmed. Much larger than expected, this establishment even sports its own parking garage. Conveniently located on the bottom floors of this massive complex, parking costs $6, but with it you get a $3 coupon to be redeemed at the bar. This coupon should keep the cost of your first drink under two bucks. A fairly decent deal, if you ask us.

Walking into the building was like entering another world. Music blasted even in the parking garage. We were carded at the door. Apparently, under-21s are only allowed in before 10 p.m. Note: if it’s too close to curfew, those just under 21 won’t be allowed in anyway.

We had parked on the second level and had to take the escalator up one floor to get to the good stuff. A gift shop marks the entrance to Playland, and just beyond lies the more adult realm of the place. Pool and shuffleboard tables surround an extensive bar. The central bar has small tables to sit at, as well as plenty of room to casually stand around in. Drinks are a bit expensive, but Dave and Buster’s seems to pride itself on its mixed drinks. We tried the Whiskey Sour, Singapore Sling and Toasted Almond, all of which sold for about $4.50 to $5. In case you weren’t aware, a Toasted Almond is Amaretto, Kahlua and ice cream (yum), and the drinks are made with quality liquor - Jack Daniels - in the Whiskey Sours.

While we were sitting at the bar some random woman walked by and gave our friend Grant the evil eye. He’s convinced she was a prostitute. We think that he’s jumping to conclusions about a human being based on her style of dress. But then, who wears skin-tight bright orange tie-dyed t-shirts these days? Thankfully, that wasn’t the typical uniform at Dave and Buster’s.

Behind the main bar is a restaurant. Most people put their names on the waiting list and then proceeded down the hall to the game room, by far our favorite area of Dave and Buster’s. Before we go into that - the game room also has an eatery, more like a diner, which serves burgers and fries.

There also seems to be more beer drinking going on in the arcade portion of Dave and Buster’s. It’s less chi-chi than the other half.

The game room - it features everything from cheesy carnival novelties to virtual killing sprees like “House of the Dead” and “House of the Dead 2.” As we wandered through, we felt like we’d gone back in time to our summers spent in New Jersey boardwalk arcades - only technology and video games have improved drastically.

Definitely try the virtual jet skiing and skateboarding. It’s also fun to get sloshed at the bar and then ride a virtual motorcycle. Aside from video games, there are also tons of the old token/ticket-winning favorites: Skee Ball, slot machines, and that game where you put the quarter in and you think it’s going to push all the other quarters over the edge, but it just never does.

Well, we played our fair share and ended up walking away with two wonderful commemorative plastic “Dave and Buster’s” cups (and a cute little lizard to stick on our window).

Paying for the games is also more high-tech than in the good old days. In the entrance to the game room there’s a booth where you can buy a special card that you swipe in each of the games. Some games are more expensive than others - if we hadn’t put $30 on a card we never would have known how much we spent.

So, if you want to do something and you want to do something fun, and if you’re tired of wearing those tight-ass pants and skimpy tube tops, try Dave and Busters. Relax.

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