Pac-Man Restaurant Opens Next Year in Chicago

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[dropcap size=small]P[/dropcap]ac-Man fans will finally be able to get past the kill-screen of the 1980 arcade game’s 256th level, but it won’t be with a joystick in hand. Namco has announced a new restaurant and bowling alley named Level 257 based on the Pac-Man video game series that will open in Chicago’s Woodfield Mall early next year.

In addition to the 180-patron restaurant that includes bars and lounges complete with fire pits, the location will also have a sports bar that will serve craft beer, specialty cocktails, and wine. Naturally, there will be arcade games as well as “retro-styled” bowling lanes, pinball machines, and table tennis. Who doesn’t want to drink delicious craft beer and play video games?

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Proposed concept art for the exterior of Level 257.

In a press release announcing the development of Level 257, President and CEO of Namco Entertainment, Hitoshi Yoshida, explained the restaurant’s mission:

“Pac-Man has reminded all of us of the importance of play for over three decades, and Level 257 will explore Pac-Man as a global pop-culture icon in new and creative ways, reinforcing the importance of fun in all of our lives. Our guests can indulge in what they love now – fantastic food and drinks – while the venue allows everyone to engage in the art of play in a distinctive environment.”

If you’re looking for some Pac-Man merchandise to show off, Level 257 has you covered: there will be a dedicated retail shop featuring everyone’s favorite yellow maze-dweller. I could definitely go for a t-shirt with Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde. The restaurant will also feature an art gallery inspired by the “Most Recognizable Video Game Character,” as named by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2010.

No official grand opening has been announced, but the restaurant is scheduled to open in early 2015.

Will you be stopping by Level 257 the next time you’re in the Windy City? Let us know in the comments!

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