Gamers don’t often get to step inside their favorite virtual worlds and experience them in real life, but come Spring 2015, Schaumburg’s Woodfield Mall will give fans of Pac-Man that chance.
More than three decades after Namco Entertainment released the classic ‘80s insta-hit Pac-Man, the game developer is creating a new kind of “entertainment destination,” in the form of a restaurant inspired by their most famed character.
“Level 257 seeks to explore Pac-Man’s impact upon our society and pop culture,” the restaurant’s Tumblr page states. “Reminding us all of the importance of play in our lives, while facilitating our desire to relive those times when beating the next level was the most important thing in our world.”
And play is exactly what you’ll want to do there. Picking up where the game left off from Pac-Man’s final 256th level, the previously impossible to reach Level 257 will offer 16 boutique bowling lanes with smart technology, table tennis, pinball, ungettable original arcades and custom built-in game tables.
But don’t let the games fool you, this place isn’t meant for kids.
“The facility is built for adults," David Bishop, Namco’s executive vice president of strategic project development, told the Daily Herald. “With no disrespect to other entertainment concepts like Dave & Buster's or Gameworks, Level 257 is expected to be seen as a restaurant first.”
The venue promises to be “at its heart a high-end, 180-seat restaurant presenting fresh, chef-prepared dishes,” adorned with giant red leather booths, fire pits and a separate sports bar to complement their sommelier-curated cocktails, craft beers and a specialty wine list.
Level 257 will open early 2015 in Woodfield Mall’s 40,000 square-foot space adjacent to Sears.