Kids-themed eatery to open soon in city

Posted: May 21, 2013

The Winchester Star

Building supplies are piled near the Chuck E. Cheese’s under construction at 145 E. Tevis St. in Winchester on Monday. (Photo by Jeff Taylor/The Winchester Star)
The Chuck E. Cheese’s under construction at 145 E. Tevis St. is expected to open by late summer. (Photo by Jeff Taylor/The Winchester Star)

WINCHESTER — Every child’s favorite rodent — well, maybe second favorite after Mickey Mouse — is coming to Winchester.

Chuck E. Cheese’s 145 E. Tevis St. location, behind T.G.I. Friday’s, should be open by late summer, according to Shannon Alexander, senior marketing administrator at the Irving, Texas-based company.

It joins a network of more than 560 restaurants in the U.S., Canada, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Chile, Mexico, Guatemala and Panama.

Alexander said Chuck E. Cheese’s is in 48 states.

She said the Winchester restaurant and entertainment center will be 12,000 square feet, and its signage and decor will reflect an updated Chuck E.

Construction is well underway, with walls and a roof already up. Parkway Construction & Associates, of Lewisville, Texas, is the general contractor.

“We will have a new stage,” Alexander said.

Rather than an animatronic cast of characters, there will be a digital “Circle of Lights” stage, she said. Chuck E. himself will come out to mingle with children and their parents.

“He will be coming out every hour on the 30 [minute mark] to dance with the kids,” Alexander said.

She said there are different games and rides options for different locations, but the Winchester one will have a section dedicated to toddlers and small children that is separate from one designed for bigger kids.

Alexander said there will be a merchandise counter where children can exchange their game tickets for prizes.

While parents might remember Chuck E. Cheese’s having ball pits, there won’t be one at this site.

“We took those out years ago [for] sanitation, safety,” Alexander said. “We try to make it the safest, cleanest environment we possibly can.”

To further ensure children’s safety, Chuck E. Cheese’s employs a hand-stamp system.

“Every family that comes together, leaves together,” Alexander explained. “Each guest or family that comes in receives a unique number. That’s the very first thing as soon as you walk through the door.”

The stamps are checked before guests are allowed out.

The restaurant will feature pizza, veggie platters, wings, salad and desserts, among other offerings, Alexander said.

“There’s quite a number of food offerings,” she said. “We’ve expanded our menu quite a bit.”

There will also be a showroom for birthday parties, according to Alexander.

She said a general manager and two assistant managers have already been hired for the Winchester venue, and that recruitment for more staff would likely start in July.

“A typical site has 40 to 60 full-time and part-time cast members,” Alexander said.

She said the company hires many high school students.

— Contact Sally Voth at svoth@winchesterstar.com