- Real Estate
- Food & Drink
March 25, 2020
EightyOne, an arcade bar with more than 50 games from four decades, is relocating from Harrisburg to downtown Sioux Falls.
The arcade is moving into the first floor of The Carpenter Building, which most recently was Myers’ Deli & More.
“The downtown area, and especially The Carpenter, was always what I envisioned for EightyOne from the very beginning,” owner Errol Stewart said. “It’s the perfect look for us. I love historical buildings.”
The space is similar in size to his location in Harrisburg, allowing him to move the entire game collection, with plans to add to his pinball collection as time goes on.
Stewart grew up with a love of video games, beginning with his first Nintendo at age 7 and continuing through high school, when he and friends would hang out at Aladdin’s Castle at The Empire Mall on weekends.
“I never grew out of it,” he said.
In 2013, he began collecting arcade games as a hobby and then discovered the arcade bar concept was trending nationwide.
“It immediately felt natural to me as something I wanted to seriously pursue,” Stewart said. “So I accelerated my collecting, quit my day job, and the rest is history.”
He opened the Harrisburg location in 2017.
His collection is “carefully curated” with games from the 1980s through the 2000s, with options for two- and four-player games.
Restaurant owner Dan Myers will continue to use the kitchen at The Carpenter for Myers’ Elite Catering and provide food service to EightyOne. His location for Myers’ Deli & More in the CNA Building downtown also remains open.
He’s crafting a menu for EightyOne that will include typical items patrons might expect like chicken wings, pizza and chislic, “but I want to do those on the next level.”
“I was thinking about doing a chicken wing, but I want to do it milk-braised, fried and then instead of doing like a Buffalo to it, I want to do like a red curry to it, so that’s a completely new play on it.”
Myers envisions making his own sausage and pepperoni for personal-size pizzas, which would be on a honey oat crust, and using a custom cheese blend that likely will include smoked provolone and mozzarella.
“I want to make them different than what you’ve tried.”
Some of the menu items will be inspired by EightyOne’s arcade games. “I’m looking at doing a slider duo, and I want to call it the Street Fighter because he has a ‘Street Fighter’ there.”
To start, the kitchen will be open the same hours as the arcade, Myers said.
The move allows the arcade to respond to some of its common customer requests, Stewart said.
“We’re thrilled to finally be able to offer a high-quality food menu. And while we still won’t have a full bar, we are adding wine to our menu, and The Carpenter Bar is just next door for that type of beverage.”
The intent for The Carpenter Building’s first-floor space – which used to be a hotel ballroom – has always been to “add life to the building and a fun option for downtown,” co-owner Anne Haber said.
“The location of The Carpenter is prime, and this arcade will be a wonderful addition to the downtown entertainment community,” she said.
“We feel very comfortable with Errol and his EightyOne arcade concept – it’s incredibly unique, very clean, well-run. And the good news is that Dan and his catering team will still be on site and in the kitchen.”
The COVID-19 pandemic forced EightyOne to close in Harrisburg before a planned party to mark its final weekend in Harrisburg. It also means Stewart isn’t able to say for sure when he will be able to open in Sioux Falls.
He has set up a GoFundMe account to try to supplement lost revenue.
EightyOne, an arcade bar with more than 50 games from four decades, is moving from Harrisburg to downtown Sioux Falls.