Classic Arcades to High-Tech Simulators
by Barry Zelickson
The adventures continue as Nate and our team spend time with two more incredible entrepreneurs and visit their amazing attractions. I find it fascinating to witness the creative endeavors of entrepreneurs and see how it can take them in completely different directions, even though they have the same goal of building spaces that focus on providing enjoyment and lasting memories for their customers.
First, let’s explore Thr3 Jack, where co-owner Lucy Robb combines competition, good food and drink, and camaraderie in an urban environment centered around the game of golf. Next, we’ll venture into the Galloping Ghost Arcade, where Doc Mack has transformed a simple arcade concept into one of the largest and most popular arcades in the United States. Let’s dive deeper into these exciting destinations.
Thr3 Jack – Minneapolis, MN
Minnesota boasts more golfers per capita than any other state in the U.S., making it an ideal location for Thr3 Jack, a sports bar featuring best-in-class golf simulators and more. Thr3 Jack is a place for fun, named after the golf term which means taking three putts to sink the ball in the hole.
President and Co-Founder Lucy Robb’s main goal was to: “Bring golf to the places where people live, work, and play.”
Located in the North Loop of downtown Minneapolis, an urban area with limited nearby golf courses, Thr3 Jack offers a convenient and fun solution. Residents can simply step out of their doors, walk over and visit Thr3 Jack, grab a beer, spend 20 minutes at the range and return home. (During our visit, we noticed some guests even bring their own golf clubs, bag and all.) Thr3 Jack eliminates the need for the multiple-hour commitment typically required for a round of golf at a traditional course, and it becomes especially helpful during the winter season when weather conditions prevent outside play.
What sets Thr3 Jack apart is its exceptional food and beverage offerings. Recognizing the importance of creating a well-rounded experience, they made their culinary program a priority. They brought in an executive chef to ensure they not only provide entertainment but also offer high-quality dishes that would make them a stand-alone, hip bar and restaurant choice for their urban neighborhood.
Their scratch kitchen features mouthwatering items like avocado bruschetta, cumin roasted cauliflower, southern fried BLT, and their signature stacked and layered smoked chicken nachos. (Check out our Host Nate sitting down to eat those bad boys above.)
For summer, they introduced the Patio Burger Series featuring a new specialty burger each week that is served fresh off the grill on their patio. They are also partnering with local breweries to host beer dinners each month through the end of the summer. They also boast a full bar where their most popular drink, the Thr3 Jacked, a unique twist on an old-fashioned, takes center stage.
Thr3 Jack contributes to the community by focusing on their expertise — golf. They create programs to provide inner-city children with access to the game and host charitable fundraisers that allow golf enthusiasts to enjoy the sport during the winter months while supporting causes. The Thr3 Jack’s Ladies Club is a place for women to learn the game, socialize, and swing easy.
Regardless of the season, if you find yourself in the neighborhood, a visit to Thr3 Jack is a must.
The Galloping Ghost Arcade – Brookfield, Illinois
For those seeking a nostalgic gaming experience, the Galloping Ghost Arcade in Brookfield, Illinois, is an absolute must. Founded by Doc Mack in August 2010, this one-of-a-kind, gamers haven has become a worldwide destination for arcade enthusiasts. Starting with a single location, the arcade has expanded over the course of 12-plus years to occupy five buildings, spanning an entire block!
With a collection of over 900 games, including pinball, arcade and video games, the Galloping Ghost Arcade continues to grow. Promotionally speaking, I like the arcade’s fun tradition called, Monday Mystery Game, where they add a new game to their collection every Monday. It’s a great way to get guests excited and involved in their business – and if you can’t be there in person, Galloping Ghost Arcade even live streams the game unveiling at 5 p.m. every Monday so followers won’t miss a thing.
What makes this place truly unique is its “Free Play” model. Visitors pay a flat fee to enter the building and can enjoy unlimited gameplay on any of the games. This approach has allowed avid gamers to hone their skills, resulting in over 600 world records set at the Galloping Ghost Arcade. To add to the excitement, many of the games are rare or no longer in production, requiring a combination of technical expertise and resourcefulness to keep them up and running.
If you’ve ever wondered where you could go to relive the gaming experiences of your youth, look no further than the Galloping Ghost Arcade where our host, Nate, got to play his childhood favorite pinball machine, BadCat. As Galloping Ghost Arcade proudly boasts, “We wanted to offer a cost-effective place to play, host professional events and expose everyone to arcade games that they had not seen in decades.” In fact, their collection is so vast, many visitors have never seen some of the rare games that have been restored and placed on the floor of this unbelievable facility.
Thr3 Jack and Galloping Ghost Arcade offer unique and captivating experiences for individuals with diverse interests. Whether you’re a golf enthusiast looking for a convenient and entertaining way to enjoy the sport or a gamer seeking to immerse yourself in a world of retro gaming nostalgia, these destinations will not disappoint. Lucy Robb’s Thr3 Jack brings golf to the heart of the city, accompanied by delectable food and drinks, while Doc Mack’s Galloping Ghost Arcade takes visitors on a thrilling journey through the history of gaming.
The adventures continue, and the Fun Across America YouTube channel is the place to be for updates on new locations every two weeks. Check out these incredible destinations that offer excitement, camaraderie and unforgettable memories for all who visit.
Barry Zelickson, is the co-creator of Fun Across America, a YouTube channel travelogue show. Zelickson has worked in the entertainment field for almost 30 years and has been awarded several IAAPA Brass Ring awards including one of the association’s highest honors, Family Entertainment Center of the World. His other projects include commercials, infomercials, feature films, documentaries, live events and entertainment centers.
Nate Reinhart, host and co-creator of Fun Across America, is a content creator for NalterDeeds and NalterCards on YouTube and content consultant for creators and businesses alike. After a shoutout from MrBeast, Nate has accumulated over 250,000 subscribers on his YouTube channels.