The coronavirus may still lurk among us but fingers crossed it'll be gone in time for the arrival in Plano of Corky's Gaming Bistro, a mega-game facility that will open at 1900 N. Central Expy. #319, in a space that was formerly home to Furr's Fresh Buffet, which closed in August 2019.
This is the second Corky's; the first opened in Grapevine in 2018, with axe-throwing, classic arcade games, pinball machines, and escape rooms, plus food and drink.
The Plano location will have most but not all of those amenities, including a restaurant and bar — but with a few new options, says spokesperson Charla Brown.
"Everything will be the same as Grapevine, except we won't have escape rooms," she says. "There'll be 10 lanes of axe-throwing and Plano will have duckpin bowling, which is unusual around here."
In Dallas-Fort Worth bowling alleys, the dominant style is candlepin, with large pins and balls that weigh 15 pounds or more. Duckpin, which hails from the Northeast but has started to surface in the area, has smaller pins and smaller balls that weigh around four pounds and have no finger holes.
Game-wise, in addition to Tron, Berserk, Space Invaders, Mortal Kombat, Donkey Kong, and vintage pinball machines such as Star Wars and Addams Family, the Plano Corky's will feature old-school sports games.
"We'll have 60-plus arcade games," Brown says.
Food-wise, the menu boasts a lumberjack theme in dishes such as the "Paul Bunyan fries" with melted cheese and bacon, plus burgers, wings, street tacos, pizza, sliders, a Chicago-style hot dog, and sandwiches, including an Italian beef sandwich.
There are fried pickle spears, chips & queso, cheese sticks, and quesadillas.
They're also adding the Impossible burger, says Brown.
The bar has both beer and wine on tap, along with a selection of cocktails that includes margaritas, a julep, and a Tex-Mex martini with Hatch green chiles.
Corky's is from Neil Hupfauer, who co-founded Main Event Entertainment, the multi-venue bowling-anchored family entertainment business. Hupfauer has an extensive business background in the bowling, restaurant, and family entertainment industry spanning more than 45 years.
Prior to co-founding Main Event Entertainment, he was managing general partner of Fun Fest, one of the first family entertainment centers in the nation, now known as AMF Fun Fest Lanes. Prior to that, he was general manager and co-owner of Triangle Bowls, a chain of nine bowling centers in Texas.
If all goes as planned, the Plano Corky's will open at the beginning of July, presuming all the equipment deliveries that have been delayed by COVID-19 show up.
Back at the original location in Grapevine, the axe-throwing arcade, which has been shut down since March, will reopen on May 22. "It's been a quiet couple of months just as a restaurant and bar, and reservations for the axe-throwing have been going nuts," Brown says. "I think people have been dying to get out."