Pac-Man, the yellow dot with an insatiable hunger for other smaller yellow dots, is getting his own restaurant in January when Level 257 opens up in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg.
The restaurant and entertainment complex will open in a 40,000 square foot space previously occupied by a Sears warehouse. According to the restaurant's Tumblr page, the space will feature "16 boutique retro-styled bowling lanes with smart technology, table tennis, pinball machines and our Lost & Found games parlor with original arcades alongside exciting new titles, plus custom-built game tables and free-to-play board games provide a unique entertainment experience." There will also be an art gallery devoted to Pac-Man and all his glory, as well as a Pac-Man themed gift shop.
Below is a rendering for what the restuarant might look like from the outside. Notice the clever Pac-Man hiding in the number 5 on the logo.
"Level 257 seeks to explore Pac-Man's impact upon our society and pop culture, reminding us all of the importance of play in our lives, while facilitating our desire to relive those times when beating the next level was the most important thing in our world," the website says. "All while indulging that which we love now-great food and drink with our friends and family."
So why the name Level 257? It's a fun reference to the original Pac-Man arcade game's 256th and final level, where due to an error players cannot progress any further.
Pac-Man originally released in 1980, which makes 2015 the carnivorous yellow-dot's 35th birthday. Namco is planning a giant birthday celebration at the restaurant in May.
Sure, the restaurant sounds a little gimmicky, but couple it together with an arcade and bowling alley and Level 257 could perfectly capture what made Pac-Man and arcades in the 1980s so much fun in the first place. If nothing else, it sure as heck beats going to the Hard Rock Cafe.