xeni — 2014-01-16T15:04:37-05:00 — #1
nashrambler — 2014-01-16T15:27:47-05:00 — #2
timquinn — 2014-01-16T15:39:01-05:00 — #3
xzzy — 2014-01-16T15:42:09-05:00 — #4
Price seems awfully high to me as every single one of them looks like a rotten hole these days. Granted I'm about 25 years older than their target demographic but I really can't see how they managed to stay in business this long.
gyrofrog — 2014-01-16T15:44:38-05:00 — #5
Maybe it's just where I live, but Chuck E.'s these days is pretty half-assed. Bring back the doiby hat and Joisey accent, for starters.
Along the same lines of Chuck E./Showbiz was Crystal Pizza, but it had no animatronics, and the interior was (I guess) like a Victorian mansion. (Or sporting house.) At some point they switched to a buffet, but I hadn't been there in years before that happened. Apparently it finally closed its doors about a year ago. (They also owned Casa Bonita, similar concept but with Tex-Mex food.)
stefanjones — 2014-01-16T15:46:07-05:00 — #6
Nolan Bushnell was at MakerFaire this spring. Bushnell, among other things, founded the Pizza Time Theater restaurants, which later became Chuck E. Cheese. The character was originally just the MC of the animatronic band that played in the restaurants.
He revealed, in his speech, that Chuck E. Cheese, the rat, was originally supposed to be . . . well, he didn't provide a name, but it was going to be a coyote. The shop that provided the costume for the pitch meeting sent a rat suit instead of a coyote suit, so the character was hastily re-named and re-specied.
spunkytws — 2014-01-16T16:45:22-05:00 — #7
Useless but fascinating,
Was he also associated in any way with Showbiz Pizza? If I remember correctly Showbiz preceded Chuck E. Cheese, at least in my area, where the Showbiz Pizza was eventually turned into Chuck E. Cheese.
When it was still Showbiz one of my friends took the microphone there one night between animatronic shows and said, "Ladies and gentlemen, we are sorry to report that Billy Bob Bear choked on a piece of pizza and has died. There will be no further shows this evening."
We then hurried to the exit.
daemonworks — 2014-01-16T17:12:53-05:00 — #8
Chuck E Cheese still exists?! The only around here went independent like... 20 years ago and then it's replacement went out of business...
samwinston — 2014-01-16T17:23:07-05:00 — #9
If you have kids between the ages of 4 and 11. Where do you take them for a group birthday party? Or where do you take a social group like a LL team? A MacD's---that's rather boring. A Bowling Ally--sure if they're older. Chuck E Cheese, almost all their friends will like pizza and they have the arcade thing and redeem tickets and it's a place most of the other parents are familure with and will sign on to; plus the parents can have a beer.
And their are Gluten free and vegetarian options. I was just reading their FAQ they also hand stamp the kids so all the kids that come in group can only leave as a group or designated adult.
chairthrower — 2014-01-16T17:35:37-05:00 — #10
But did they pay in tickets?
stefanjones — 2014-01-16T17:44:10-05:00 — #11
I had to look that up.
Showbiz Pizza was a competitor that merged with Chuck E. Cheese. It is complex; see the Wikipedia article.
niktemadur — 2014-01-16T18:39:59-05:00 — #12
The whole thing looks rather cheesy to me, and if it had anchovies instead of peanuts, fishy. Yeah, they have abominations like pineapple and peanut pizza there.
In fact, if I was Apollo Global Management I'd do the same thing, make Mr E. Cheese almost a billionaire but not quite, as punishment for that goddamned pineapple and peanut pizza.
gilbertwham — 2014-01-16T20:09:17-05:00 — #13
Arrrrgh. Birthday party franchise hellsheds... I'm glad mine's 18 and we can just go to the pub now.
petzl — 2014-01-16T21:05:37-05:00 — #14
What's Google's play in taking over Chuck E. Cheese, I wonder...
EDIT: I've just been informed this is one of the few buyouts Google is not involved in.
samwinston — 2014-01-16T21:31:19-05:00 — #15
Yeah...but they weren't as fantastic as "Farrell's
lightningrose — 2014-01-16T23:56:47-05:00 — #16
Casa Bonita in Denver (Lakewood, actually) is every bit as awesome as Eric Cartman thinks it is.
niktemadur — 2014-01-17T03:55:05-05:00 — #17
I ate like a pig at Farrell's.
Remember the blue ribbons they gave after eating a banana split out of a miniature pigsty?
gabe_oakes — 2014-01-17T03:58:58-05:00 — #18
That's what I was thinking. Haven't seen or heard of Chuck E Cheese is at least 15 years. How'd they survive?
schaden — 2014-01-17T10:25:08-05:00 — #19
farrell's used to scare the crap out of me. i think they used an actual full size fire engine siren when they brought that thing out. and i was never sure what that "thing" was. it's not a cake. is it a nuclear device full of ice cream?
gyrofrog — 2014-01-17T15:45:27-05:00 — #20
Same here, though I can barely remember. I'm told the waitperson brought me a plastic camel to calm me down, and when I saw it I asked, "is it Glen Camel?"
Until now, I didn't know that Farrell's was a chain (or that it was still around).
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