Arcade restaurant plugging into Stapleton

GameWorks is filling in a large Stapleton retail space on Northfield Boulevard. Photo by Burl Rolett.

GameWorks is filling in a large Stapleton retail space on Northfield Boulevard. Photo by Burl Rolett.

A mega arcade is on its way to Stapleton.

GameWorks, a restaurant and gaming concept similar to Dave & Buster’s, is coming to Stapleton’s Shops at Northfield. The 40,000-square-foot venue joins about 10 other GameWorks outlets and will be the first in Colorado.

“It’s a place where someone can come in and get a lot of interactive entertainment,” said Howard Brand, chairman of the GameWorks board. “Whether it’s laser tag or playing an arcade game or eating and playing e-sports, there are a lot of things you can do at each location.”

GameWorks is currently under construction at a big-box retail building at 7950 Northfield Blvd., between Northfield’s Bass Pro Shops and Super Target. The building previously housed a Halloween City store.

Brand said the explosion of new residential development drew GameWorks to the Stapleton area. He also liked that there was not another major arcade restaurant nearby that would bring competition.

Brand said the arcade will open in February. He declined to say exactly what it costs to build a GameWorks but said each location costs “millions of dollars” to get open.

Denver’s GameWorks will come complete with a laser tag venue, an arcade area and a full restaurant and bar. Brand said the company makes its money both off of walk-in business and rentals for private parties and events.

GameWorks will also have a section for getting together to play multiplayer games on computers and console gaming systems. Brand said GameWorks plans to host tournaments in popular video games such as Halo, League of Legends and Call of Duty.

Gamers can also drop by and play by the hour. Play stations come with a call button so players can buzz a waiter to order food or drinks without putting down the controller.

Brand said the “e-sports” section, as GameWorks calls its video game business, is what sets it apart from other arcades.

“The future of our business is e-sports,” Brand said. “There are more people who play League of Legends right now than people who play baseball. These are huge industries and we’re the first company to tap into them from a brick-and-mortar point of view.”

GameWorks has locations in Virginia, California, Kentucky, Arizona, Illinois, Seattle, Las Vegas and Ontario. Brand said the company could look into more locations in Denver but would need to keep an eye on other competitors in the area.

GameWorks will need to contend with Dave & Buster’s, which has one location near Interstate 25 and Colorado Boulevard and another at the Westminster Promenade shopping center in Westminster.

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