By Ben Rodgers
ASHWAUBENON – Gamers can rejoice because a new business in Ashwaubenon offers a little bit of everything for anyone interested in having fun.
Press Start Rec Room at at 830 Vanderperren Way is a 10,000 square-foot space which boasts rentable “living rooms” where gamers can bring their friends and rent systems dating back to the original Nintendo Entertainment System up to the latest generation for multiplayer fun.
For example, people can rent “Mario Party” for the Nintendo 64, play with friends on a 75 inch screen and enjoy food and drinks at the same time.
“We’re just a gaming recreation spot that just so happens to have a bar and kitchen,” said Brandon Parker, co-owner.
Parker, originally from Memphis, Tennessee, has been hard at work acquiring classic gaming systems and the games that go with them to offer this experience to the public.
“I’ve looked at several concepts like this and I’ve taken the best and brought them here,” Parker said.
In total there are 14 systems people can rent to play games with friends. Press Start Rec Room has eight living rooms available as well.
“We’re always looking for recommendations from people for games they’d like to see,” Parker said. “If the recommendations are high enough, we can get it it.”
Right now during the soft opening, the cost during weekdays is $20 an hour or $35 an hour on weekends. The business is open from 4-11 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
Parker anticipates a grand opening the weekend of July 21-22, where hours will likely expand.
The business also has 28 arcade cabinets where people can play a variety of classics like “Street Fighter II” or “Golden Tee,” for anywhere from 25 cents to a dollar per play.
If video games aren’t someone’s thing, Press Start Rec Room also offers table tennis, and foosball for free and pool for an hourly rate of $10 on weekdays and $15 on the weekend.
Parker also welcomes people to come in and play board games. If there’s one someone really wants to play it can be brought in from home, too.
“I want it to be a place where you can come in here and find people with the same interests as you and you could meet your best friend,” he said.
Parker is also exploring the options of hosting events for nerds of all different interests, such as how-tos for creating cosplays, learning “Dungeons and Dragons” and “Magic: The Gathering,” or music or discussion panels.
“If you can find it at an anime convention or a comic-con, there’s a good chance it will happen in this building,” Parker said.
He also plans to host Packers parties in the future and maybe be able to host fantasy football drafts as well.
He said the wide variety of options will give people something new every time they visit, if they choose.
“You can come in here and just sit back and chill, listen to music, and play board games,” he said. “You could come in here and everyday will be a different experience.”
The menu is also likely to change as the business grows. Right now there are a variety of local craft beers, wine, craft sodas, energy drinks, and regular sodas and beer for purchase.
Food wise, Press Start Rec Room offers what Parker calls “gamer finger food,” which is tater tots, nachos, pizza, tacos and more.
The business is family-friendly but Parker hopes to attract retro gamers.
“If you remember playing the N64 and were ever accused, or accused your friends of screen peeking, this is the place for you,” he said.
That also means there may be people playing some games with a mature rating, so parents should be advised.
“We want everybody to feel comfortable, but if you bring a little kid in here, someone could be playing ‘Grand Theft Auto’ right next to you,” he said.
Parker said if children rent out a living room while the parents play pool or ping pong, he will check with them before renting out any violent games.
More information can be found at psrecroom.com or on Facebook by liking Press Start Rec Room.