If you’ve never been inside a Dave & Buster’s, think of it as something beyond sports bar and approaching sports theme park. Or maybe sports carnival. There’s even a midway.
The Dallas-based chain is poised to open a 40,600-square-foot restaurant on May 3 in Euless, becoming one of the first and probably the biggest establishment in the new Glade Parks development near Glade Road west of Texas 121. It’s the second Dave & Buster’s in Tarrant, following one that opened a few years ago in the Arlington Highlands complex.
During a media preview this week, which took place even as workers outside were putting finishing touches on signs and landscaping, general manager Jeff Cleary took a handful of reporters on a tour of the spacious, and noisy, bar/arcade/restaurant.
“We want to make it a place that, as you walk in, you can make a decision,” Cleary said. “You separate your experience. You go to the left, you can eat in the dining room. You want sports, here we are [on the right].” The restaurant has 38 TVs in all for sports fans.
“Every one of them in the sports bar is 80 inches, with the exception of one 70, and we have three 191-inch screens,” Cleary added.
Behind the sports-bar section was the most dizzying part of the building, the Million Dollar Midway, with more than 170 games, a mix of state-of-the-art video games and carnival classics like skee-ball. Music was blaring so loudly there that it could be hard to hear Cleary, but nobody was playing games at the time, and no doubt they drown out the music.
Cleary pointed out several games: Arcade-size versions of popular app-based games like Candy Crush and Angry Birds. A four-player air-hockey table, with a goal for each player to defend. Movie-based games such as Jurassic Park and a new Star Wars game built exclusively for Dave & Buster’s (the chain will be featured in three movies this summer, Cleary says). Classics such as Pac-Man, as well as modern variations on those classics.
Separate from all that was the dining room itself (with a giant photographic mural of Texas football lining the wall), along with private event spaces that can hold from 10 to 1,000 people — that is, if you don’t want to rent the whole shebang for a private event.
Samples of several menu items were provided, including the Maker’s Mark wings (wings tossed in barbecue bourbon sauce made with Maker’s Mark), regular wings, pretzel dogs that didn’t quite stick together in the sample size, the “Lawnmower” (a salad that, we’re told, weighs 2 pounds), Bass Ale-battered fish and Parmesan chips, the Buffalo wing burger and the spicy “Hottie” burger, and the bananas Foster pie and triple-layer chocolate cake.
Our faves among the above were the fish and chips, with the crunchy-on-the-outside/flaky-on-the-inside cod more impressive than the chips, which were pleasingly thick-cut potato chips but didn’t speak up much in the Parmesan department; the Buffalo burger, which featured a meat patty topped with Buffalo-sauced chicken tenders, blue cheese, onion strings and celery (the Hottie, while respectably spicy with its jalapenos, would make most fire-eaters shrug); and the bananas Fosters pie, which two servers justifiably talked up as their favorite dessert, although the chocolate cake was no slouch.
Also available for sampling were several “Snow Cones” — D&B’s adult-beverage twist on traditional snow cones, except served in a glass filled with shaved ice and liquors and liqueurs. Flavors include original, watermelon, strawberry mango, “Miami Ice” (Skyy Infusions coconut vodka and Malibu coconut rum mixed with Minute Maid lemonade and Strawberry Bacadria Premium Mixer). The original was a little sweet for even our sweet tooth, which made it go down easy, although we suspect all that ice has a leavening effect on the alcohol. Although it’s not difficult to drink it quickly, so maybe it all balances out.
Dave & Buster’s Euless is at 2525 Rio Grande Blvd., between Glade and Cheek-Sparger roads west of Texas 121 in Euless. Hours: 11 a.m.-midnight Sun-Thu, 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Fri-Sat. Phone 817-786-1600. www.daveandbusters.com or Dave & Buster’s Euless on Facebook.