Dave & Buster’s grand opening
By Libby Page
Dave & Buster's General Manager Greg Jackson
The Million Dolar Midway
Founders Dave Corriveau and Buster Corley
Miami, Honolulu, San Diego, Mexico City. What do these places have that Kansas City doesn’t? Besides warmer winters, they are some of the cities where you can find the innovative entertainment complexes known as Dave & Buster’s. On Nov. 9 Kansas City is joining the pack. The 49th Dave & Buster’s location will hold its grand opening at the new Legends Mall in Kansas City, Kan.Dave & Buster’s General Manager Greg Jackson calls it a one-stop shop. The destination is unique because it combines an arcade, an upscale restaurant, a sports bar and a music venue.“A lot of couples will go to dinner and a movie, but here they can come, have dinner, play games, and never have to leave until we close the doors,” said Jackson.But why Kansas City, Kan.? The site is in the still sparsely developed area near the Kansas Speedway, and Jackson has been asked why they are opening the business “in the middle of nowhere.” Until the rest of Legends Mall opens in the spring, the cinema and Dave & Buster’s will be the only attractions.“The area is growing,” Jackson said. “It continues to grow, and it’s only a matter of time before the residential comes here.” He also mentioned the 300-acre Schlitterbahn water park scheduled to be built nearby in two years and the possibility of a NASCAR hall of fame.Jackson believes there’s nothing else like Dave & Buster’s in Kansas City. The company describes its dining as contemporary American. The Million Dollar Midway has arcade games and electronic attractions. The Kansas City location will have the most up-to-date games. There is a patio overlooking turn one of the speedway, and the rooftop deck is the largest of any Dave & Buster’s anywhere. Starting in the spring they will host live music on the deck. The establishment has more than 40 plasma TVs. The party and meeting spaces can host groups of 12 to 2000. But best of all, they have skeeball.Jackson has been with the company since 1994 and has helped establish the franchise in Philadelphia, Chicago, Denver, Omaha, and several Southern California locations, but he plans to make Kansas City his final destination.“There’s too much continued growth not to stay in Kansas City,” he said. “I’ll be happy to stop moving.”The new business means 315 new jobs for KCK and a boost for the local economy from people visiting from surrounding areas. Jackson and his staff interviewed around 1200 people for positions at the venue. He now has a full staff but is always looking for more good people.A sneak preview was shown Nov. 4, and on Nov. 8, an invitation-only VIP party was held. Dave & Buster’s is paring with Harvesters to raise funds by giving 1000 tickets to the event. All proceeds will go to the charity.The story of Dave & Buster’s began in the ’70s, when Dave Corriveau ran a restaurant next door to Buster Corley’s arcade and pub. They watched customers go back and forth between the establishments for so long that they decided to combine forces and open a place that had everything. The first one opened in Dallas in 1982.Now the people of Kansas City can check out the franchise themselves. “We want to provide Kansas City with good times and great service,” Jackson said. And though it doesn’t happen often, KCK is getting something before New York City. The Dave & Buster’s in Times Square doesn’t open for several more months.