The Pins Mechanical Co./16-Bit Bar + Arcade opening next month at Easton Town Center will be one of a kind.
At 38,000 square feet, it is 14,000 square feet larger than the next largest venue for Columbus-based owner Rise Brands, which now has play-centric bars in six cities and four states.
Founder Troy Allen is proud of the near-finished product but the undertaking, made all the more difficult by the Covid-19 pandemic of the past year, isn’t one he’s eager to repeat.
“Never again,” he quipped.
Still, the additional space will be welcome in these Covid-19 times. There is ample room for customers to spread out and the organization of the space — duckpin bowling lanes, arcade games and other attractions are spread throughout rather than being confined to designated areas — should also hedge against too much clustering.
That layout was always part of the plan, though it was corporate and event business that was on Allen’s mind, not concessions to Covid.
Divided across two floors plus a mezzanine platform that has games and additional seating, the space will have 18 duckpin bowling lanes, 40 arcade games and 30 pinball machines. There’s also two indoor bocce ball courts, Skee-Ball, foosball and bubble hockey.
“No matter what floor you’re on you’ll be able to find bowling and games and pinball,” Allen said.
The lanes are in bunches spread between both floors — a group of two lanes here, a cluster of four lanes there.
Allen said that’s to give groups flexibility and a degree of privacy when renting lanes rather than having all the lanes in a row as with older locations.
The space is so large the upstairs itself could accommodate an event of up to 2,000 people and the downstairs could still stay open for normal business.
The mezzanine, which includes a massive big screen display flanked by some stadium-style seating, was also designed with corporate events in mind.
While past Pins/16-Bit combo units have had the concepts side-by-side, this one integrates 16-Bit into the Pins space. It still has its own bar and drinks in addition to Pins’ 24-tap upstairs and 36-tap downstairs bars.
There will be two heated patios — one upstairs and one downstairs — that alone could accommodate around 200 customers. Garage doors surround the space as well, making much of it effectively open-air when the weather is nice.
Rise Brands expects to hire 140 employees for the Easton space.
One additional investment is Covid-related. Each lane now includes medical-grade ultraviolet sanitizing devices for ball returns, something now standard for the company.
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