Namco Entertainment Inc., the Wood Dale-based company affiliated with the makers of Pac-Man, plans to open a high-end, gaming-themed restaurant and entertainment center at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg.
The new concept restaurant, including eight lanes of bowling, will open in 40,000 square feet of warehouse space formerly used by Sears on the upper level of the mall, according to Schaumburg.
It will have its own exterior entrance, but no entry from inside the mall, said Schaumburg Economic Development Manager Matt Frank.
The restaurant itself will offer high-level fine dining, but reflect the company brand through use of a Pac-Man motif and memorabilia, Frank said.
The space also will include video games and four bowling lanes on each side.
Though plans only recently were filed with the village, approval and construction are expected to be swift enough for the restaurant to open in time for this year's Christmas shopping season, Frank said.
"It's going to be a major player for us," he said. "It's a very cool concept. We're anxiously awaiting them getting that open."
Though Schaumburg is planning for an entertainment zone near the village's convention center at Meacham Road and the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway, there's little concern about the Namco restaurant being in competition with that, Frank said.
The village was reluctant to pass up such a present-day opportunity, he added.
Woodfield already is a major tourist destination, and the Namco restaurant is expected to attract further entertainment businesses there, Frank said. Namco's will be the only bowling lanes anywhere in the village.
The warehouse space Namco will be using has been owned by Sears, but never used for retail. Most of the public would not have known the space was there, Frank said.
Namco Entertainment's designated spokesman for the project could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
The Wood Dale company is a member of the Bandai Namco Group, a Japan-based network of more than 80 corporations formed in the 2005 merger of game industry giant Namco Ltd. and toy maker, Bandai Co. Ltd.