'A trip back in time': Why Pac-Man, Donkey Kong and zombies could be coming to Wheeling
If you ever had Pac-Man fever, dreamed of rescuing Pauline from Donkey Kong or spent countless hours destroying zombies in The House of the Dead, you're likely the target customer for a business that's been proposed in Wheeling.
A suburban entrepreneur wants to open a video game arcade called the Headless Horseman in a vacant storefront at 82 E. Dundee Road.
A NAPA Auto Parts store was the space's last occupant, Village Manager Jon Sfondilis said. It closed about three years ago.
The venture would put a spin on the arcade business model.
Instead of requiring players to feed handfuls of quarters into machines or use prepaid cards loaded with game credits, the arcade would charge a flat $20 fee for entry, village documents indicate. Players then could play unlimited games all day.
"It is a trip back in time to the arcades of the '80s and '90s, without the handfuls of quarters," owner Udey Kumra said in a letter to the village.
Kumra, of the Northbrook area, 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, Kumra said.
"The letter 'H' comes right after the letter 'G' in the alphabet," he wrote.
Plans call for the Headless Horseman to offer packaged snacks and soft drinks for sale. It won't sell alcohol.
Sfondilis said he loves the Headless Horseman concept. The business could be a "great addition to the community," he said.
The village board will review the proposal and consider a request for a special use permit Monday night. The village's plan commission recommended approval of the permit in October.
Monday's meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. at village hall, 2 Community Blvd. The meeting can be watched live online at youtube.com/c/wheelingiltv.