November 2, 2018

Dave & Buster's brings high-tech fun to Milford mall

Liese Klein
Liese Klein
Training Manager Doug Ziegler on the game floor at the new Milford Dave & Buster's.
Liese Klein
Bartender Jay Trappier at the Dave & Buster’s sports bar with a display of menu items.

When it comes to technology, the designers of the new Dave & Buster's in Milford's Post Mall aren't playing around.

Tucked in a corner of the arcade floor is the latest version "Jurassic World VR Expedition," a virtual-reality experience so intense it has a minimum-age restriction and a full page of health warnings posted in front. Around the corner sits the futuristic lighted pod for "Halo Fireteam Raven," an immersive first-person shooter game that allows you to log into your Xbox Live account from the arcade to record your scores.

And in the Dave & Buster's sports bar, you can view any broadcast on one of the bar's 20 TVs while streaming audio to your phone or Bluetooth headset with an app that scans the screen. "You can watch your game and hear it as well," said Doug Ziegler, a Dave & Buster's training manager.

Even as Sears prepares to close down just a few storefronts away, Dave & Buster's unveiled its new 34,000-square-foot outpost in the Connecticut Post Mall with fanfare on Thursday ahead of opening to the public this weekend. The Dallas-based company has hired nearly 300 people to staff the Milford facility, consisting of a game floor, sports bar, restaurant and private event spaces.

The Milford Dave & Buster's is the 119th location for the chain, which opens 12 to 18 new outlets a year across the country, according to Ziegler. The only other Dave & Buster's in Connecticut is in Manchester.

Although the Milford mall already leases to a small arcade, Dave & Buster's floods the zone with 160 gaming stations ranging from "Wheel of Fortune Spinner" to "Madden Football" to super-sized classic games like "Pac-Man" and "Galaga." Since September, all games are paperless and involve spending credits on a card. Some games allow players to redeem winnings for prizes.

Beyond games, the chain serves up upscale bar food, cocktails and craft beer. The menu ranges from tater tots and waffles to sliders featuring "Impossible Burger" meatless patties. Design features mute the din from the arcade in the dining spaces although patrons of all ages are encouraged to try the games.

"Everybody's a kid here," Ziegler said. "There's no age limit on fun."

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