Fri. Mar 31st, 2023
A promotional image for restaurant Level 257, from the company's Facebook page.

A promotional image for restaurant Level 257, from the company’s Facebook page.

Music has the Hard Rock Cafe. Movie has Planet Hollywood. It’s about time the gaming industry had its own cheesy, tourist-trappy themed restaurant to separate visiting rubes from their money. Apparently, Namco agrees with that sentiment, given the company’s plans to open Level 257, “a brand new dining and entertainment destination inspired by Pac mannext month at a former Sears warehouse in the Woodfield Mall in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg, Illinois.

According to Level 257’s official tumblr page, the 40,000-square-foot, 180-seat restaurant will also integrate a larger entertainment complex, featuring “16 boutique-style retro bowling alleys with smart technology, table tennis, pinball machines, and our Lost & Found games parlor with original arcades alongside exciting new titles, plus bespoke gaming tables and free-to-play board games provide a unique entertainment experience.” Fans of Pac man will also be able to shop at a “first-of-its-kind” Pac man shop and browse a “gallery space” dedicated to the little yellow dot.

“Level 257 is trying to explore Pac man‘s impact on our society and pop culture, reminding all of us of the importance of play in our lives while facilitating our desire to relive those times when beating the next level was the most important thing in our world,” the site says . And all while enjoying what we love now: great food and drink with our friends and family.”

The name “Level 257” is a nice reference to it Pac man‘s famous “kill screen” bug, which makes the classic arcade title unplayable at level 256 due to a byte overflow error. Plans for the site have been in the works since at least May, according to Level 257’s Facebook page. Namco says it plans to throw a party for Pac man‘s 35th anniversary at the site in May.

Namco, which first released Pac-Man in Japanese arcades in 1980, already operates a number of entertainment venues in the US through its subsidiary Namco Entertainment, including a series of “Time Out” branded arcades. The company’s entertainment centers also include Namco Funscape in London and the Namco Nakano arcade complex in Tokyo.

By akfire1

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