Will the Headless Horseman arcade ride after all? Man finds new space for business in Wheeling

Like a kid plugging more quarters into a video game coin slot, an entrepreneur has given extra life to his plan to open an arcade in Wheeling.

In 2022, Udey Kumra proposed launching the Headless Horseman at 82 E. Dundee Road, but withdrew his request for a special village permit that November after the landlord offered the space to a different business.

Kumra now intends to operate the arcade at 1918 S. Wolf Road, in long-vacant space last occupied by a bakery that closed in 2006. The village board unanimously approved a permit for the new location Monday.

Kumra hopes to open “as soon as possible,” Village Manager Jon Sfondilis said Tuesday.

The Headless Horseman will take an unusual approach to the arcade business model.

Instead of requiring players to feed quarters into machines or use prepaid cards loaded with game credits, the arcade will charge each customer a flat $20 entry fee. With the games set for free play, customers will be able to enjoy unlimited games all day.

“It’s pretty much a day pass,” Kumra told the village board Monday.

The 10,336-square-foot arcade will have about 100 games, Kumra said, with new ones rotated in every week or two.

Kumra got his inspiration for the business from an arcade in Brookfield called the Galloping Ghost, which has a similar fee structure. The name of his proposed venture honors the Galloping Ghost, as “H” follows “G” in the alphabet, Kumra has said.

Snacks and soft drinks will be available, village documents indicate. No alcohol will be allowed.

To discourage truancy, school-age children won’t be allowed in before 4 p.m. on weekdays, except on holidays, Kumra told the board.

Additionally, young children will have to be accompanied by adults, he said.

Trustee Ray Lang was among the officials who welcomed Kumra to Wheeling Monday. Lang said he’s glad Kumra found a new location in town after the first space fell through.

Village President Pat Horcher congratulated Kumra on the venture, too.

“It looks like fun,” Horcher said.

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