The popularity of Arcade Hub has proved such that the man behind the arcade, Lee Playle, has seen fit not only to seek a bigger venue, but also to expand into a feast of new food and beverage options.
The resurgence in the retro video arcade continues unabated in spite of new Covid restrictions, with news from Hull that its popular Arcade Hub destination has its eyes on a larger premises which has sat derelict for over a year.
According to local news source Hull Live, The Dark History Museum on the city’s West Street closed shop last June, with management citing a hike in rent as well as the unsavoury presence of drug dealers directly outside as making the venue unsustainable.
Around about the same time, local gaming entrepreneur Lee Playle was opening up Arcade Hub in Caroline Street, having previously operated the brand as a popup retail stall as part of the city’s Trinity Market.
But a permanent home for the outfit found it growing such a dedicated following, that Playle spent the period of nationwide lockdown beefing up the number of machines he has to offer – to the extent that he’s now eyeing up the former museum site to better accommodate more customers and of course, more fun.
“I’ve filled our current place already, and there’s nowhere else to put all the new games,” he said. “The plan is that [we’ll] extend our current lease by a few months after November and hopefully by the end of January I can close here and open up the following weekend.”
Meanwhile, not content merely to offer punters a fleshed-out portfolio of classics like PacMan and Sega Rally, Playle is also diversifying into food and beverage – with plans in the new site for a cafe, bar, and even a pizza collaboration with local Anna Beaumont, the mind behind the iconic local “pizza cone” served by her outfit Cone Queen.
“The plan is for Anna to come in and do the food in that new building,” Playle explained. “There’ll be a bar selling beer, a cafe with coffee and cakes, as well as more machines and a party room.”
And whilst Playle has admitted that his new prospective home will “need a lot of work,” he remains adamant that the newly expanded Arcade Hub – which he plans to have open by next February – will be “the ultimate gaming experience.”
“It’s the next and final chapter but it’s going to be a long chapter,” he wrote to his fans on Facebook. “Please continue to support us so we can continue to grow through these hard times.”