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Throwback Arcade Serving Craft Beer and Snacks Headed to Richardson

It's targeting adults, not kids.

Marcin Wichary/Flickr

This one's for you, Galaga fans: An adult-oriented arcade featuring vintage games plus food and booze is headed to Richardson. Per the official websiteFree Play Arcade "will be DFW’s only full-size retro arcade with 60+ vintage arcade games and pinball machines." It will reside at 1730 E. Belt Line, between Plano and Jupiter roads; renovations are currently underway on the 5,000 square-foot space with an opening slated for this fall.

Free Play's development blog includes a tentative list of arcade games that will be in place come opening day; it includes 60 classic titles like Space Invaders, Centipede, Contra, Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga, and Mortal Kombat II. The owners are experienced arcade game dealers, and so Free Play will also function as a sort of showroom, with every game available for purchase.

In keeping with the arcade's adult-oriented theme, there will be plenty of booze on hand: Between 25 and 50 beer options, mostly craft bottles, plus a rotating selection of wine.

"Though our primary focus is on curating the best arcade game selection in the world, our food and drink products are definitely not a mere afterthought," co-owner Corey Hyden says via email. "Our target market is adults, so we wanted a decidedly adult menu, but we're also just an arcade. High concept stuff doesn't really belong."

Some late-night kitchen experimentation led the Free Play team to settle on pressed sandwiches as the centerpiece of the menu, which Hyden describes as "like a snack bar menu for adults." The proposed menu will include half a dozen or so varieties, including a classic grilled cheese, a "Thanksgiving" turkey sandwich with brie and cranberry chutney, and a caprese version on focaccia. A handful of shareable appetizers will include crostini, hummus, and charcuterie; prices will likely fall between $5 and $12.

Despite some opposition from neighborhood residents who feel the shopping center has too many establishments serving alcohol, Free Play has won approval from the Richardson city council. Stay tuned to the arcade's development blog for updates on the grand opening, which could happen as soon as late September.

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