A new entertainment concept combining arcade games, virtual reality, and bar snacks is headed to Dallas from downtown L.A.: Two Bit Circus is a micro-amusement park concept created by a group of Los Angeles-based gaming enthusiasts, which is opening only its second location at the Shops at Park Lane.
According to a release, Two Bit will open at the Shops at Park Lane in the fall at 8030 Park Ln. #200. It’s above Champs Sports, next door to Saks OFF 5th and kitty-corner from Starbucks and Old Navy.
It's the company's first expansion outside California, but their mission is world domination: to open the world's first chain of micro-amusement parks. We're No 2! We're No. 2!
The venue will comprise 35,000 square feet and combine the latest technology with the "wonder and spectacle" of the classic circus and carnival including arcade games; tech-enhanced carnival games; virtual, augmented, and extended reality experiences, in fact all of the reality experiences; and robot bartenders.
It's not a real circus, thank God, since Los Angeles voted in 2016 to ban the use of exotic animals for entertainment purposes, helping to set the stage for the permanent downfall of circuses. It doesn't seem to have circus performers, either.
It does have a café that will serve "a variety of molecular mixology" — IE fancy cocktails — and "classic carnival eats." Their Facebook page indicates hot dogs, tater tots, wings, flatbread-style pizzas, burgers topped with mac & cheese fried patties, and ice cream sandwiches such as Maple Bacon Cookies with Sea Salt Gelato, which feels very 2020, and Peanut Butter & Cocoa Nibs Cookies with Banana White Chocolate Gelato, which feels very Elvis.
The space features different areas of attractions:
- Story Rooms, AKA escape rooms
- the Midway, with "re-imagined" carnival games
- Club01, featuring tech-enhanced interactive game shows
- Cabanas, private gaming lounges
- Arcade, with a mix of classic and new games
- the VR Arena, with multi-player virtual reality attractions
Chairman is Brent Bushnell, who favors bow ties and who previously was the on-camera inventor for the ABC TV show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, although if you Google him, the first result is that he's married to actress Maggie Grace. In a statement, he says "we've always known that the Dallas community is the perfect audience for our next location," which is very flattering, that he even knows we exist.
Ward Kampf, president of Northwood Retail, the landlord for Shops at Park Lane, says in his statement that they discovered Two Bit Circus three years ago; that gaming, AR, and VR are the future; and that Two Bit Circus "answers what our demographic is calling for."
Two Bit Circus also supports a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides youth of all means with access to hands-on STEAM learning, modern maker tools, and upcycled materials.