Gameworks to reopen as soon as July under former execs

May 18, 2022, 9:55 AM | Updated: 9:56 am

Arcade Games...

Millennials and gamers alike are getting their groove on after hearing that Gameworks is returning to downtown Seattle this summer, according to reports. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

When GameWorks, the popular arcade bar, closed its doors in December 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it seemed that a staple of the downtown Seattle community was gone for good.

But luckily for its patrons, former GameWorks executives have not only saved the Seattle location, but are set to reopen it this summer as soon as July as part of a nationwide revival for the beloved franchise, which closed down around the country over the last year.

The Capital Hill Seattle Blog was the first to report that former GameWorks executives Greg Stevens and Howard Brand applied for a new license for the Seattle location. Stevens was the CEO of the nationwide chain from 2011-18 while HNR Capital, of which Brand is the managing partner, purchased the GameWorks chain in 2011 until it was sold to Oomba, a social media firm, in 2018. The company was owned by Illinois-based ExWorks Capital, an investment firm, upon its closure in 2021.

According to GeekWire, Stevens and Brand are the “sole sources behind the funding” and will attempt to use the Seattle venue as a “focal point” in reviving the franchise around the country. GameWorks Seattle could re-open as soon as this July, GeekWire reported.

“From a passion perspective, what we did with the GameWorks brand, and where we had it positioned, we were really disappointed with what happened next,” Stevens told GeekWire. “It was like, ‘What a shame,’ but also, it was an interesting opportunity.”

Stevens also told GeekWire that he and Brand also retained all of the venue’s assets, which includes all of the arcade machines, none of which were sold off when GameWorks closed its doors.

“Every single piece of equipment is there,” Stevens said. “That was one of the key things we wanted to make sure of. I don’t want to say it’ll be seamless, but it’ll be like it was.”

GameWorks first opened in 1997 as part of a joint venture between video game developer Sega and film studios Universal Studios and DreamWorks. The Seattle location has been located on 7th Avenue off Pike Street ever since.

For more details on the arcade bar’s revival, check out this story from GeekWire.

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