Heard on the Street: Video games, pinball, ice cream and ax throwing on way

April 14, 2019 GMT

A family-friendly mix of classic ’80s-style arcade entertainment, combined with today’s ax-throwing trend, is in the works for the Med City … with a side of ice cream.

The plan is to flip the switch on the new Rochester Games and Arcade in a long-empty 8,000-square-foot building at 27 Ninth St. SE, behind the Soldiers Field Shopping Center and by Snappy Stop.

“We’re about the true love of the game,” said Jason Shiffler, one of the owners of the new business.

Shiffler, who operates four Old School Pinball and Arcade locations in Iowa and Wisconsin, says plans to lease the former Midwest Custom Concepts / Pawn America /Waterbed Room building have been in the works for a while.

Now, with a few signs in the windows, plans are rolling forward. The hope is to open in late May or early June.

Rochester Games and Arcade will feature 50 to 70 classic and new arcade games and pinball machines on the main level along with a “high-end” ice cream counter that will serve a variety of old-fashioned shakes and treats, Shiffler said.

To invoke the memories of ’80s arcades, they are also working on adding pizza to the food mix.

“There will be no need for quarters, no cards. There will be no ticket redemption center. All the games are on free play,” he said.

Customers will pay for a wristband when they enter, which will give them access all day.

Hoping to tap into the popularity of ax-throwing, Rochester Games and Arcade is also planning to feature an ax-throwing arena for special events and league competitions.

The second level of the building will be outfitted to accommodate parties and groups.

“We want this to be a place for Mom, Dad and the kids to all have a good time,” Shiffler said.