James “Buster” Corley, a co-founder of the eatertainment staple Dave & Buster’s, died Monday, Jan. 2, at his home near White Rock Lake in Dallas of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. According to WFAA, Corley’s family confirmed this. His daughter, Kate, said: “Buster Corley had a stroke four months ago that caused severe damage to the communication and personality part of his brain. The family asks for privacy during this time.”
A representative from Dave & Buster’s called Corley “an innovative and creative force,” adding, “His pioneering spirit and steadfast belief that ‘everybody is somebody’ set the foundation for bringing food and games to millions of Dave & Buster’s guests over the past 40 years. Buster’s passion for hospitality, his demand for excellence, and the deep care he had for his team members were unparalleled. Our hearts go out to his family at this difficult time and while we will miss his wise counsel and his easy laugh, the legacy he and Dave built endures.”
Corley and business partner Dave Corriveau opened the first Dave & Buster’s location in Dallas in 1982. In the late 1970s, the men had nearby businesses — Corley with a restaurant and Corriveau with an arcade — that they decided to combine once they noticed customers would rotate between the two.
Today, Dave & Buster’s has more than 140 locations and in 2022, bought the 50-store Main Event food-and-games chain for $835 million.