West Dundee business to focus on retro video games
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An arcade that offers video games exclusive to Generation X may totally be coming to West Dundee.
Owner Scott Lambert, an Addison native, says Underground Retrocade will be filled with games like Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Asteroids and other arcade hits from the late 1970s to the early 1980s.
"When I went to arcades as a kid, I went to what we've built, I didn't go to the other places," Lambert said, adding he can't identify with the video games of today. "I want to take care of Gen X'ers who are kind of homeless. Our goal is to transport every guest back into their childhoods."
Before Lambert, 45, can take people back in time, there are a couple of levels left to clear in the village.
West Dundee officials plan on taking two votes Monday. One would be to approve a special use permit for Lambert to open downtown at 121 W. Main St. The other would involve reducing the annual amount Lambert would pay the village for every machine he operates.
The current rate of $135 per machine would mean Lambert would pay $13,500 a year, since he plans on running 100 machines. The village is instead proposing Lambert pay an annual fee of $4,800, which the village would collect on a quarterly basis.
"It's clear that our current fee doesn't translate well to arcades and we did give special consideration to the arcade that did open up in Spring Hill Mall several years ago," West Dundee Village Manager Joe Cavallaro said. "It's basically just a creative approach to his excessive numbers of machines in light of our code."
Underground Retrocade was originally in East Dundee at 1 E. Main St. But Lambert closed it the end of May due to the April storms that flooded the building's basement and damaged its roof.
"We almost made a whole year before we got rained out," Lambert said.
Cavallaro said the arcade will translate well for the area.
"It's a good use of the proposed building that they're going to and it adds to the entertainment options downtown," Cavallaro said.
You won't need quarters to play there — $15 is enough to play all day.
And in addition to Gen X'ers, Lambert hopes younger gamers just starting to discover retro video games find value in what he's trying to do.
"I just took a deep dive into the '80s and realized how much I enjoyed my childhood and how much it had gone, and I set out to recreate that," he said.
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