We sat down recently with GameTime Owner, Mike Abecassis, to see where they are and what lay ahead for this mega arcade, restaurant and sports bar in Tampa following their million-dollar remodel. Excited for this interview I fondly recalled my old GameWorks days; having not been in the space since my kids grew up I was curious. As a result of our visit, I reconfirmed what a goofball I can be, I have been missing out on a tasty, fun adult play time experience at GameTime!
Stepping inside memories flooded my brain as I recalled sitting in the bar area at the old GameWorks, Air Hockey pucks plinking along the sides of the tables behind me, sipping on a white wine, enjoying my Nachos while crazed kids sprinted across the carpet shrieking to their friends. Lights swirled, bells dinged, music from the Dance-Off machine played as I hoped my money would hold out long enough for a second glass of wine if I was LUCKY! GameWorks was Mommy Nirvana, an escape, a retreat. Despite the chaos, it was a place I enjoyed bringing the boys.
So along comes this NEW place! Opened in 2010 my boys were into online video games and no longer asking to go to the arcade, 20/20 hindsight, I should have insisted! We need to get our kids up and out to GameTime where they play games in a face-to-face social setting, not behind a TV screen through headphones. They can climb into a racecar or hop onto a motorcycle, challenging the winner at an Air Hockey table, basketball hoops, or mini-bowling, not a virtual opponent connected through a cord. Parking is easy, it's a treat for them and a treat for you! Win-Win!
In preparation for my visit to GameTime I Googled the arcade to read reviews. Many posts shared information about the food, the arcade, party experiences, the bar and more, quickly I realized GameTime's Mega Arcade, Bar, and Restaurant is GameWorks on steroids! I read glowing reviews about their Baby-Back Ribs, Salmon, and whoa, they have Churrasco! They offer Calamari and yes, my Nachos! Then I saw it, the Cocktail Menu, and I knew this wasn’t mommy’s old arcade. Fresh salads, sides, and desserts, I could not wait to see and taste the menu at GameTime and give their bartenders the chance to impress me. They did not disappoint!
Churrasco with Plantains & Black Beans, Sliders, Chicken Caesar and more.
Kelli Markunas, GameTime's Marketing Director, could not have said it better, "GameTime features extremely good food, and well-crafted drinks in a fun atmosphere at a good price with great value," Mike adding, "Our mission is to very directly and specifically provide locals with affordable fun for the whole family." I asked Mike what type of feedback he receives from guests? Mike replied, "People are surprised at the quality of the food and the impeccable upkeep of the games. We keep things very clean, our guests appreciate that."
GameTime provides everything from old-school arcade games to edgy new experiences in video games. Many arcades update their options yearly, not at GameTime, they are plugged into their industry and able to purchase year-round so they can consistently offer the latest and greatest games.
While families make up the greater part of their day and afternoon < I'm thinking what a great place to take your child afterschool> young adults and sports fans flock in for the evening. With 2-for-1 drink specials, it's affordable and fun. The new restaurant and sports bar, the gourmet menu, and new audiovisual experience with over 60 TV’s are guaranteed to make even the most cynical sports bar fan quiver. They pull in pay-per-view events, recently airing the UFC fight, and offered Fantasy Football teams 50% off their tabs when they held their fantasy draft at GameTime. They also updated their party rooms, where they accommodate everything from birthday parties to corporate events. What a treasure we have right here in our own backyard in historic Ybor.
My experience was a positive one, I loved the new GameTime, am sad about the time I missed and will be back soon, family in tow. The simple truth is, you are never too old for the food, fun, and activity GameTime provides. We are fortunate to have them as neighbors, what they offer is a unique one-stop-over-the-top experience for everyone, no matter their age. Stop into this fun mega arcade, restaurant and sports bar in Tampa to experience it for yourself. Bring your kids, bring your friends, bring your date, bring your spouse, for this is truly a great time out!