By: Bryan Boggiano
Opening in 2017, Coral Springs business Game Night Arcade, had a difficult time when the pandemic hit. Owner Spencer Molz furloughed employees and worked by himself for over a year. He turned the food portion of the business operation to take-out, and in April 2020, he took out an Economic Injury Disaster Loan.
While he reopened in early May 2020, he then had to change his hours in July due to Broward County’s emergency curfew. By September, there was almost nothing left of his loan.
Molz struggled to make ends meet due to limited capacity, and some days, he had no sales.
“I almost went out of business,” he said. “It was really difficult through the summer.”
Molz said that what got him through was support from the community and strangers. Some customers tipped him extra. He said the most unexpected act of kindness came from a woman in Arizona who found out about the company on Facebook and gave him $20.
“It was really nice that someone did that; it was really heartfelt,” he said.
The bar’s mix of games and merchandise from different gaming eras makes it a spot where retro-meets-modern-day. Some gaming consoles include the Nintendo 64, Game Boy Advance, Xbox 360, Xbox 1, PlayStation, and arcade cabinets.
In total, Molz says the arcade offers more than 1,000 different free games.
In October, they started selling and trading Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and magic cards. They also sell vintage Nintendo 64’s, controllers and games, anime, and action figures.
“My business partner, Josh, makes his living with that and thought it would be a good mix,” Molz said. “It slowly blew up from there. It helped push the business forward.”
For Molz, the jump in business came after a rough patch during the pandemic.
Now, the business has returned to pre-Covid activity, and Molz is excited to celebrate its fourth anniversary on August 25.
The arcade is open Monday through Saturday from 6 p.m. until 2 a.m. There is a one-drink minimum per person and an $8 cover charge for underage customers. The business also has a bar and serves various craft beers, hot dogs, burgers, sandwiches, and desserts.
Gamers continue to go for the wide array of options, including the arcade’s recently expanded merchandise.
“We made it through,” he said. “I have a community here to thank and be thankful for.”
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