Blinky’s Revenge Bringing Arcade Action to Worthington
The return of arcade popularity seems to show no signs of slowing, and Shilah Griffeth wants to bring a taste of the retro action to the suburbs this fall. Griffeth is the owner of Blinky’s Revenge, a new gamer-centric arcade concept slated to open in a yet-to-be-disclosed location north of Old Worthington near I-270.
“I’ve been thinking about this concept for the past five years,” explained Griffeth. “It was something that sounded like a lot of fun, but probably didn’t work at the time as a sustainable business model.”
When the old State Theatre building in Uptown Westerville became available, Griffeth got the idea to more seriously look into the concept as she thought it would be a great adaptable reuse for that space. While it ultimately didn’t pan out in that location, it did spur the creation of a business plan and secured financial investors in the project. The relocation from Westerville to Worthington came with the added perk of an expanded space (8,500 square feet) where Blinky’s Revenge can grow even larger in scope and scale.
“In addition to the old upright arcade cabinets and pinball machines, we’ll have a board game library in a separate space,” said Griffeth. “We’ll also have other games like air hockey, foosball and ping pong as well as old console games like the Atari, NES and Sega Genesis.”
While Blinky’s Revenge will offer beer and wine, Griffeth says that it will feel more like an entertainment venue and less like a bar. She’s also considering the incorporation of a retro candy shop that would sell sodas too. The concept may sound like a mashup of other local establishments like 16-Bit, Kingmakers and Rocket Fizz, but that doesn’t worry Griffeth one bit.
“When I was first working on the deal in Uptown Westerville, that’s when 16-Bit was announced,” she said. “I was nervous about it at first because someone else was already doing this. Then we added the board game component and Kingmakers came along. I think that’s just proof of concept, and we’ll cater to a different demographic.”
Griffeth hopes to have Blinky’s Revenge open for business in the early fall, and plans to launch a Kickstarter campaign within the next few weeks to close the final funding gap and secure specific arcade machines in the process. After opening, she hopes that she can introduce a new generation of video game fans to the originals that helped to establish the industry and the culture thirty years ago.
“For decades we’ve all been geared toward adding new tech inside our houses, and now we don’t know what do to when we go out, other than eat,” said Griffeth. “We want to create something fun, and also affordable, for people to go and do outside of their houses together.”
For more information, visit www.blinkysarcade.com.