Dave & Buster's Unveils Its Hip New Reinvention

The eatertainment destination wants to appeal to adults and children alike.

By late 2022, Dave & Buster's knew it had to make a change. The national restaurant and barcade chain had taken a hit during the pandemic, and even three years after COVID's onset, same-store sales were still flagging. The solution? The company announced that it would fashion itself as a hip destination for adults, not just adolescents. Now, just over a year later, we're starting to see those plans for a fresh new Dave & Buster's take shape.

Dave & Buster's unveiled its new prototype restaurant in Dallas on February 9, timed to coincide with Super Bowl LVIII—because one of the features touted in the new design is an "immersive" sports viewing experience. The Dallas Morning News reports that the large-scale renovation took about three months, and could signal the changes coming to other D&B locations nationwide.

"Guests are going to have to see it to truly understand Dave & Buster's Dallas is like nothing they've ever seen," said Dave & Buster's Dallas general manager Garrett Chimarys in a statement published by Nation's Restaurant News. Let's take a look at what's on offer.

Dave & Buster’s new food and drink menu

One main area of focus at Dave & Buster's going forward will be the food. CEO Chris Morris noted in January that food and beverage revenue had declined more precipitously than any other segment of D&B's business over the past decade. This is a huge opportunity for the brand to recapture revenue, especially given the higher profit margins on things like alcohol and mixed drinks—which is just one more reason to start catering to the grown-ups ages 21 to 39.


The newly revamped food and beverage program will feature more shareable options for larger groups, and in keeping with that group-oriented mindset, there will also be self-serve beer wall with several craft options on tap. As D&B described in its Instagram post about the Dallas remodel, "The epic new menu showcases the culinary feats of the upgraded craft kitchen! You'll find something for everyone on the new menu that features delicious options for all palates & lifestyles." While this doesn't give us the clearest idea of what's actually on the menu, the Instagram Reel pans over a dish of salmon and rice, a plate of decadent pasta, a trio of sliders, a blue tropical-looking drink, and a truly TikTok-ready multicolor dessert that involves Froot Loops and fluffy rainbow topping.


The dining and bar areas are larger than they were before, and the new prototype features a VIP Room that offers bottle service. While new Dave & Buster's locations feature a "WOW Wall," a 40-foot screen installed in the bar area, the VIP Room has its own personal WOW Wall.

Dave & Buster’s new games and experiences

On top of prioritizing a state-of-the-art watching-the-big-game-with-your-buds experience, Dave & Buster's is shifting away from the single-player game cabinets of the past and creating more group-oriented, open-concept gaming areas replete with virtual technology.


Social Darts Bays and Social Shuffleboard Bays take classic bar games and turn them into screen-based digital pursuits. The bays are also situated in private suites that can be reserved for small groups. Those suites, along with the VIP Room, are intended to position Dave & Buster's as a place to book your special events. "Most in eatertainment are driving significant business through special events," CEO Chris Morris noted at a recent business conference. "For whatever reason, Dave & Buster's hasn't, and we see that as an opportunity."

Finally, there's The Arena, a wall-to-wall gaming environment that encourages group activity. As Nation's Restaurant News describes it, "The Arena allows up to eight players to participate and uses invisible tracking technologies, along with fully immersive media, audio, and tactile solutions to deliver futuristic gaming experiences that test players both mentally and physically." (If you don't like being scanned, well, don't go to Dave & Buster's, I guess.)


"It's a mistake to think about this just as remodel," Morris said recently at the ICR Conference in Orlando. "It's really a strategic reset for the business."