Level 257 at Woodfield Mall opened today at 5:00 p.m. as a restaurant and entertainment center themed after the iconic video game, Pac-Man. The total capacity of the restaurant is about 1,000 people and it will employee 160 staff members, but the management recommends reservations for the first few weeks — both for this week’s dinner-only schedule and during introduction of lunchtime hours next Monday, March 2.
The entertainment/restaurant space is 40,000-square-feet. Level 257 is located next to and above Sears. The space is not connected by an opening to the inside mall. A gift shop has unique items related to the video game theme. T-shirts and other merchandise are branded with the restaurant’s “Eat Life Up” slogan, as are candy items, cutlery sets, golf balls, toys, home video games, shot glasses, and watches.
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This week’s soft opening will be followed by a grand opening in April. On Friday May 22, 2015, Pac-Man’s 35th anniversary will be celebrated throughout the weekend.
The restaurant has a fireplace surrounded by shelves with books and popular board games that will remind adult visitors — that are old enough — of their childhood videogame pursuits.
On the game side there are 16 bowling lanes, various table tennis and table hockey games and more than 80 restored classic video games and pinball machines.
The Pac-Man game starts at the extremely difficult level 255. Successful completion of level 255 allows players to reach the special, hidden Level 256. The restaurant name Level 257 refers to being able to go a step above Level 256.
On warm days or nights two large windows can be opened like garage doors. The restaurant/entertainment center also has a large event room that can divided into five smaller spaces. The areas feature stadium seating that can be pulled up from the floor to face large video screens.
The restaurant/entertainment center is Wood Dale-based Namco Entertainment Inc.’s prototype, and Namco believes the concept has been perfected, expansion is expected at locations throughout the United States.
For reservations, call the booking line at (847) 805-0257.
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