Monday, December 17, 2012

Dave and Busters @ The Waterfront {a review}

What do my Sundays consist of? Watching football, checking my Fantasy Football lineup, and watching more football. And that's a wrap. So when I was invited to check out the new Sports Lounge at Dave and Busters at The Waterfront, I was all over it!

The last time I was at D&B was for our corporate outing a few months ago, and the facility was undergoing some serious construction. Having been to my fair share of D&B locations (Chicago, Cincinnati, etc.), I had developed a general idea of what to expect during a standard outing - old-fashioned dining room, plenty of children, and games.. lots of games. So when I found out that the renovations revolved around the creation of a sports bar, I was intrigued, to say the least.

And let me just say, when you walk in to the front door of the new-and-improved Dave & Busters, feel free to leave any preconceived notions at the door. I almost did a serious double-take - am I in the wrong place?? You're immediately greeted by an enormous TV screen and trendy-looking reception area, and it is instantly clear that they weren't just renovating - they were out to change their brand.

Whoa, where am I??

So let me break it down for you...

DECOR. Don't get me wrong, the old dining room reminiscent of Cheers is still fully intact, as are some of the older sections of the facility that feature games such as billiards and shuffle board. While D&B wanted to change their image, they wanted to make sure that they lost zero existing clientele in the process. Kudos.

The renovations focused primarily on the creation of an upscale-looking bar, along with a massive sports lounge...

On a raised platform just past the hostess desk is a raised bar and sitting area. Complete with white leather chairs and bright lighting, it's like a mini, trendy urban bar at the heart of The Waterfront. While the manager pointed out that this area draws lots of women (bright lights and pretty bottles ooooh), the Beer Tubes and big screens keep the men coming in droves.

Right across the football field-themed hall is the expansive sports lounge. I don't think that our group spoke for a solid 10 minutes after first being seated at our high-top booth because we were too busy trying to see what was happening on ALL of the TVs. And there were loads of them. Gone are the crunchy plastic booths, having been replaced by over-sized (and super comfortable) leather booths and chairs. And don't worry, I'm pretty sure there isn't a bad seat in the house, especially on Sundays! While the atmosphere was still family-friendly, I felt like I was out at a bar, as opposed to Chuck E. Cheese. Thankfully.

Moving back through the lounge you arrive in a room boasting plenty more TVs, plus leather couches, chairs, and party space - complete with free Wi Fi. The Pittsburgh-themed decor makes you feel like you're in a typical Pitts bar, as opposed to a chain restaurant, and the lounge feel is super inviting. I can absolutely see myself grabbing a drink and watching a game back there, and am planning on it!

FOOD. Standard bar food, for shame! The massive menu features any, and everything you could possibly want - whether you are out with the family, or catching a game with some friends.

Cue drool

How do you decide what to get when you're staring blankly at a menu, with no idea where to begin? Ask the waitress, of course! It's a good thing she was friendly and super knowledgeable, because a less patient person would have had a difficult time dealing with our indecisive table! For starters? Pretzel bites, and spinach and artichoke dip. In both cases, the portions were large, and the quality was high, so we were all happy campers. Wanting to sample something unique to the D&B menu for my entree, I had the Philly Steak Burger... pretty self-explanatory, but it was a cheeseburger with steak, onions, mushrooms and peppers on top. MMM!

Oh, and that thing in the top right photo? A skinny long island. I dare those of your 21+ to not find something delicious on the drink menu. Dare you.

GAMES. Fine, I'm competitive. By the time we got our game cards and left the booth, the tension between the two couples in attendance was palpable. It was going to be a quiet car ride home, that's for sure.

Walking into Dave's Arcade made everyone feel like a little kid again. You want to play. You want to win. You want to buy something ridiculous with your tickets. As an adult, it also brings a seriously competitive spirit, aided by the bar in the middle, but it's all in good fun! Right PG???

Anyway, the arcade boasts an enormous assortment of games, from staples such as Pac Man, to newer gems like Fruit Ninja. While we mostly stuck to our classic favorites (basketball, skeeball, and racing), I'd be lying if I didn't say we were absolutely drawn in to the massive Connect Four board, or the trivia game. At the end of the day it doesn't matter who wins or loses... because I just say I win everything either way!

Overall, a great, great afternoon! The staff was super friendly, and clearly had that place figured out, from the dining room, to crowd control, they were on it! The food was delicious, the drinks were even more delicious, and the variety of games ensured that I worked off my massive lunch in no time (seriously, sweating).

Thanks to D&B for a great day. Now go check it out!!


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