Dave and Busters opened in Fort Myers in April of this year and we were there. We went on the first Friday that they were open. Normally we wait but this time we wanted to see why this place is so popular.
Have you noticed that when a new establishment opens there is a huge rush? Krispy Kreme comes to mind. Well I do not think the management of Dave and Busters was remotely prepared for the onslaught they had to deal with day after day, night after night. The evening we were there, they were totally unprepared. I am sure corporate was taken by surprise as well because they did not prepare management for what they had to deal with.
It is a shame that locally owned restaurants when they open do not experience the same phenomenon. Why do we clamor to try a box restaurant that is new to the area but not risk trying a locally owned restaurant? I wonder what would happen if a White Castle came to town?
The evening we were there we experienced long waits, no seating, a capacity crowd for hours on end. The servers were in the weeds as, judging by their food, so was the kitchen. At the time we decided it would be unfair to review Dave and Busters but decided we would return on a later date to get a different perspective. It did leave us wondering though, as to why they were so popular.
Fast forward 5 months. The buzz has died down and management has had the time to ensure that everyone has the Dave and Busters experience. This time no long lines, no crowds, no long waits and the staff was not in the weeds.
We headed to the bar and was warmly greeted by our server shortly after finding a booth. It was happy hour (Monday – Friday 4-7 pm), so drinks were 50% off. Our server explained the special where you can combine food with the purchase of game card (Eat and Play Combo). We settled on our cocktails, Lemon Drop and a Pina Colada. For dinner we had the PHILLY CHEESESTEAK SLIDERS & GOLDFINGERS, Four Philly sliders and hand-breaded crispy chicken tenders with Buffalo ranch sauce and bacon & smoked Gouda sauce for dipping and the TRIPLE BACON BURGER, Applewood smoked bacon, peppered bacon pork belly, bacon & smoked Gouda sauce, Manchego and cheddar cheeses, lettuce and garlic aioli. The menu is pretty much sports bar food but they try to offer it done a bit differently.
This time the food was delicious, served hot and presented nicely. Our server was attentive and checked back on us quite often. They were not busy at all. There were families there playing game with their children as well as couples enjoying the bar and the games.
I am not sure just what the Dave and Buster experience is all about or why it is so popular. I can see as maybe something to do on date night or a girl’s night out. I think given the prices; it might be costly for a family night out but would be fun for a birthday celebration. I am glad we went back to give it a try under more normal circumstances. However, when traveling out of town, I would not choose it as a place to go as I still prefer to experience locally owned restaurants whenever possible.
Overall Rating; Average+
Dave and Busters Fort Myers
13499 S Cleveland Ave Ste 400 Fort Myers, FL 33907