Free Play Arcade is Coming to Denton

Fans of vintage arcade gaming and craft beer will soon be able to enjoy both in the same place. A lease was just signed Thursday to open a Free Play Arcade location in the building previously occupied by Lone Star Taps & Caps on West Hickory. They're looking to have the arcade up and running within the next 60-90 days, according to broker William Hancock of Wellington Realty.

Free Play is a retro themed arcade with a concept based on the idea of free play to any of the games after paying an entry fee. The Denton location will be cheaper than other location with the entry free expected to be $5. 

In a press release Free Play owner, Corey Hyden, said,"Given the square foot challenges built into Downtown Denton and the City of Denton Municipal Code. We had to get a little creative with our model to bring our trademark arcade to Denton."

The location will offer around 45 arcade games and ten pinball tables. Games will be rotated each month so the selection doesn't become stale. The Denton location will differ from the other locations by making use of what's left of the Taps & Caps location. They will offer a growler bar teaming up with brewers for craft beer.

Hyden began the arcade with the goal of having "classic vintage arcade games," not "emulated" games, and then their team works to rebuild them, Hancock said.

The arcade's original location in Richardson opened in 2015. After expanding to Arlington in June 2017, the arcade has since been focused on bringing the concept to Denton, according to Hancock.

"It's been about 8 months that we've been working on trying to figure out a way to bring it to Denton, somewhere that makes sense for the people of Denton, and everyone can get the best use out of it," Hancock said.

Announced in September 2017, was the addition of a ramen restaurant in what used to be New York Pizza & Pasta, which was housed right next door to what will become Free Play.

"Free Play's concept is awesome and it will be the perfect place to hang out off the square," said broker Lucas MacDonald of DBA Commercial Real Estate who represented the landlord in the transaction. "They'll be joining Hanabi Ramen in the building and it will be a great destination for locals and students alike to grab a bit, a drink, and play some classic games."

Along with the Denton lease, the team also signed a lease Thursday for a pinball exclusive bar called the Dallas Pinball Project set to open in 2018 as well.

UPDATE: The article was changed to include new information in a press release published Monday, January 29.

Header image by Mateo Granados