Giant Pac-Man and Connect 4 arcade consoles are among the Braintree-specific games at Dave & Buster's, now open to the public after much debate in the community, and featuring dining, a bar, private event rooms and 150 amusement devices.
Dave & Buster's representatives held a media tour and ribbon-cutting on Thursday morning following the establishment's opening on Wednesday – five days earlier than its planned Dec. 12 launch.
Jessica Foley, an event coordinator, led a tour through the 33,000-square-foot D&B's, housed in a former Circuit City building next to the that has been modified into a wide-open layout, with dining room seating for 250 on one side and games and a prize room on the other.
Upstairs, a large event room is multi-media equipped and can hold up to 200 people, arranged in different ways. The room costs approximately $250 for four to five hours, Foley said. Another, smaller room is next door.
It is the first Dave & Buster's in Massachusetts, but likely not the last, Foley said. The Dallas-based company, founded in 1982, is looking for other locations, she said, but finds it difficult because the concept requires strong daytime business and space larger than a typical restaurant.
Dave & Buster's received 4,000 applications for its Braintree location, Foley said, and interviewed 1,500 people. Of its 250 hires, 20 percent are from Braintree – a standard that it promised to uphold during at-times contentious meetings with the town's various oversight bodies over the past two years.
Residents and town officials also expressed public safety concerns during Dave & Buster's approval process. Because of that, the company agreed to pay for police details every night, and extra officers on the weekend, along with firefighters, Foley said.
In addition, a staff of "captains" checks everyone for an ID outside the front door and patrols inside as well. They also keep track of capacity, which Foley said Dave & Buster's would like to keep low during the initial weeks after opening to maintain an ideal playing environment.
Patrons must be at least 21 years old to enter, or else be accompanied by someone at least 25 years old. A single 25-year-old can bring with them up to six underage customers. Starting at 10 p.m. each night, Dave & Buster's becomes exclusively 21 and older, Foley said.
"We run an effective, safe business," she said. "If something goes awry, it's adults causing the problem."
Dave & Buster's is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to midnight and Friday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Its address is 250 Granite St.