Here's my full review of Dave & Buster's Oklahoma City.
Guide Review - An Adult Playground?
Greeted at the door by a polite Dave & Buster's employee, we went immediately to the dining area on the right. The place was already packed, and after placing our names on the waiting list for a table, we decided to check out the game room. That's when I noticed the kids, many of them, perhaps even more than the number of adults. An employee informed me of a fairly complicated policy on those under 18 (apparently if you're looking for adults only, you have to go quite late), and needless to say, it was a lesson in the dangers of assumption.
If you're like me and your expectation is an adult atmosphere, you too are likely to be disappointed. Groups of teenagers giggled, just like at any other gaming center. Children raced around me, stuffing their tickets into cups. And as I passed a motorcycle game, a woman doggedly racing and leaning to turn a corner, I noticed her sleeping baby placed in its carrier along the walkway. Sure, you're able to make your way through with a beer in your hand, but my hopes of the perfect synthesis between childhood excess and adult leisure quickly evaporated.
I get it, of course. Dave & Buster's wants to make money, and the kids are the ones more likely to become obsessed by the notion of an Xbox 360 for "only" 90,000 tickets. Luckily, it wasn't my only surprise of the evening.
Food & Drink
My group decided to get, among us all, a broad selection. We started with pub-popular pretzel bites (bready, buttery treats with three kinds of dipping sauce), and our entrees included a bacon cheeseburger with sweet-potato fries, the Black Jack BBQ chicken and the Island Grilled Trifecta with steak, chicken and shrimp. Prices were reasonable, on par with what you might see at other casual chains, and though there were some opening weekend hiccups (forgotten sauce, no bacon on the hamburger), the service was very good. Overall, it was the polar opposite of my previous diatribe; instead of high expectations unsatisfied, the dining was characterized by low expectations surpassed.
Along with the large number of food options, the drink menu includes mixed drink specialties and a decent number of beers. I was even surprised to see a selection from local brewery Mustang on tap. It'll be extremely nice to see them expand that in the future. Combined with the diverse food choices and the wall to wall flat-screens, the quieter, dedicated bar area in the middle makes for one of the better sports bar/pub picks in the metro. And if the game you're watching is a blowout, head to the "Million Dollar Midway" to rid yourself of some frustration.
Games - The Star of the Show
Gone are the days of metal tokens. Instead, purchase and load a Power Card that you swipe at each game. Though far more convenient, it does make it a little more difficult to keep up with your spending, as many games have odd prices such as 7.7 credits. But I suppose that's the point.
We've grown up from tokens but not from tickets, it seems. You'll find many ticket-based games, some that require skill and others that are just random spinning machines, and it's always satisfying to see the ticket chain snaking to the ground when you're finished. The satisfaction slips away, though, as you enter the crowded ticket redemption room, where you won't find much at all for fewer than 250 tickets. As I didn't play a lot of ticket games, my friend and I had to combine our loot for a lighted Dave & Buster's pen. Both of us told the other he could have it.
Still, it was a very fun way to spend an evening, and I will certainly return, even if I only play a game or two while enjoying a sporting event and food from the bar. And if I'm looking for more of an adult atmosphere, I'll go much later in the night.
5501 North May Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73112
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As is common in the industry, the writer was provided with complimentary items for the purpose of the review. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.