Today, a burning question is revealed: If the creators of Pac-Man opened a restaurant and entertainment venue in the Chicago 'burbs, what would it look like?
The design: It turns out that the nods to perhaps the most iconic video game ever are fewer than you might expect, as the 40,000-square-foot Level 257 is more like a trendy arcade bar on steroids. There's reclaimed wood beams, nostalgic neon signs, and small design touches incorporating Pac-Man. Upscale couches and armchairs, booths, and communal, traditional, and high-top tables provide the seating at multiple bars, a central restaurant, and private event spaces. 16 bowling alleys, ping-pong, and plenty of video games provide the entertainment factor at Level 257.
The food and drink: There's lots of trendy upscale bar food at Level 257, made with some ingredients sourced from local farms. Casual Italian is prevalent in pizza and pasta sections, the former cooked in a wood-fired oven. Starters include the usual suspects such as tartare, bacon-wrapped dates and spring rolls; steak, fish and chicken encompass many of the entrees; and there's sandwiches. To drink, there's craft cocktails with video game names and a large wine list.
Level 257, from Namco Entertainment president and CEO Hitoshi Yoshida, is reservations-only for the first two weeks.
Level 257, 2 Woodfield Mall Unit A, Schaumburg, Website.