Today is the grand opening of Level Up Arcade, located at 2001 W. Oklahoma Ave., and local business owners, John and Laura Daigle couldn’t be more thrilled. The Daigles got the idea to open Level Up from their personal experience with raising two sons. Between not always having a fun place to take them and limited options for birthday party locations—a seed was planted.
“We cannot even remember whose idea it was. All of a sudden we were just making it work. Everything fell into place, the timing for it was perfect, and so here we are,” Laura said.
“I think from the time we bought it, we thought it would be a really cool kids hang out but weren’t sure what to make it until it just hit us,” John said.
The Daigles already had the building for John’s previous business and after it was sold, they were left with the building and what to do with the space. While renovating, their kids would come in and sing karaoke while they worked.
“It was the old Hard Times Bar so it was totally set up,” John said. “The tiki hut was the bar but now it’s the concession. The DJ booth was already here and all the speakers.”
Today’s hours are split in two sessions. The first is all ages, from noon to 6 p.m., and the second session is from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., for ages 11 through 17. The sessions are $6 per person but if someone aged 11 through 17 would like to attend both, it is $10. Since Level Up is a free-play arcade, the only cost is the session price but there is also a concession stand with some more solid food options such as chili dogs, frito chili pie, and nachos. Throughout the week, it is all ages but the Daigles have reserved the 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. time slot on Fridays and Saturdays for those ages 11 through 17.
“We set those age restrictions because we really want to give this place to the kids for the weekend, so they have a place to go and hang out,” John said. “In keeping it to minors only, we can give parents a peace of mind and also us.”
With a wall mounted big screen TV, a 72” projector and surround sound; Level Up is also equipped to host a variety of events from birthday parties, family or high school reunions and even football watch parties.
For those interested, private parties are already being reserved, as well as a handful of birthday parties, and the Daigles said one thing they refuse to do is let Level Up get stale.
“We want to host fun events pretty frequently so we’re going to do video gaming tournaments, we’re getting kind of set up with eSports to maybe start hosting, we’re going to do theme parties and hopefully something for New Year’s Eve,” John said.
Due to its neighborhood location, the Daigles mentioned that parking is restricted and one of their goals is to be as courteous as possible to their neighbors. Carpooling is appreciated.
“We just want to be courteous to our neighbors and keep it safe and fun,” Laura said.
For more information or to book your event, please visit the Level Up website at www.leveluparcadeok.com