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updated: 8/22/2012 9:08 AM

Brunswick plans to buy, revamp Buffalo Grove's eSkape

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  • Brunswick is in talks to buy Buffalo Grove's eSkape bowling and entertainment center and convert it into a Brunswick Zone XL family entertainment center. A formal proposal is expected before the Buffalo Grove village board next month.

      Brunswick is in talks to buy Buffalo Grove's eSkape bowling and entertainment center and convert it into a Brunswick Zone XL family entertainment center. A formal proposal is expected before the Buffalo Grove village board next month.
    File Photo by GEORGE LECLAIRE/gleclaire@dailyheral

 

Most of the buzz in Buffalo Grove recently has focused on the possible creation of a new "downtown" on the village's municipal campus.

But change also is coming to the site community leaders once hoped would fill that downtown role.

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On Monday, the village board's committee of the whole heard a plan that would turn eSkape bowling and family entertainment in the Town Center development into a Brunswick Zone XL family entertainment center.

The presentation was a preview of a formal proposal that will be made before the village board Sept. 10.

Michael Long, a vice president with Brunswick Bowling & Billiards, said Brunswick is in final negotiations with the ownership of eSkape, located at 350 McHenry Road.

The concept for the revamped facility is similar to what currently is there, including bowling, laser tag, arcade games and areas for meetings and special events. There would be a Dave & Buster's-style game room, billiards and a food and beverage area, Long said.

The "reimaging" of eSkape would involve relocating four bowling lanes to the back, expanding the game room, remodeling the laser tag arena, turning the current restaurant into a "flexible use space" for dining on weekends and a corporate meeting space.

The difference between a Brunswick Zone and an XL is that XL's are larger and have more amenities. There are other XL locations in Algonquin and Romeoville.

"In today's market, the customers are demanding multiple recreation choices when they come to the facility," Long said. "Bowling's one of their options. But they want to have the option of a world-class game room, laser tag (and a) meeting or restaurant space. That's the foundation of our XL brand."

Among the changes Buffalo Grove trustees must consider is whether to allow an increase in the number of "coin-operated amusement devices" from 36 to 60. Trustees seemed open to the concept, even with the increase in the number of arcade games.

Don MacBrayne, Brunswick Zone XL vice president of operations, said about 70 percent of the machines feature "redemption" games, based on building up points and earning tickets that can be turned in for prizes. He said it would compete with both Chuck E. Cheese and Dave & Buster's.

Brunswick hopes to have the sale complete by mid-September. Reconstruction would be in two phases, and the building would be shut down for three weeks. It would be fully operational by November, officials said.

"We're really excited about being in Buffalo Grove," Long said.

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