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The owner tells me he went into it with absolutely no plan, or any idea on how to run a business. But his success suggests otherwise. “It’s actually been nuts. It’s been overwhelming like the support, I’ve had regulars over and over again.”
Jason Pacey is describing his Beercade. He’s only had the doors open for two weeks, but already, has regulars. “It’s kind of like, I guess fun and nostalgic, you know,” said visitor, Jeff Green.
Old school games, combined with hundreds of drink choices. That’s why people say they come back. But its location, they say, it’s what makes it ideal.
“I live downtown, walking distance so I can walk, crawl, skip home, whatever, it’s a win-win,” said visitor, Steve Cry. And it all started 18 months ago. With nothing more than an idea. “Honestly, this was all winged, I didn’t have a business plan, I did absolutely everything wrong when you start a business,” Pacey said.
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“And while the owner says he took the idea from a bar in Chicago, he’s put his own twist on it. All of the games are free to play, as long as you’re buying drinks.” But the challenge is, switching out the games, and making them new…again.
“We need to get Donkey Kong in here, we need to get Super Pac Man in here, maybe a little baby Pac Man,” Cry said.
It’s just a small change, that could have a huge impact on the river city.
“It’s more of a fun, kind of laid back place, um I think all of that adds to drawing people downtown, businesses downtown and keeping people down here before and after work, even to live,” Green said.
“It’s totally new for Peoria, nothing has ever been like this before, so it’s new and exciting for now,”
Pacey says his bar is filled to capacity almost every Friday and Saturday night. He says that just makes the downtown area look more appealing to investors.