Arcade-style gaming café opens downtown

Trends Reporter

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Pete and Megan Thompson founded Hungry Gamer, an arcade-style café with a theater room and gaming consoles for patrons to play while having a meal.

Video games have always been an important part of Pete Thompson’s life.

Growing up, Thompson spent hours playing gaming consoles like Nintendo and Sega Genesis with his friends.

“We said it would be great if we didn’t have to leave the house for food,” Thompson said.

Thompson made his childhood fantasy into a reality Feb. 12 by opening Hungry Gamer with his wife Megan, an arcade-restaurant hybrid in downtown San Marcos funded partially by an online Kickstarter campaign and the Texas State Small Business Development Center.

Hungry Gamer features a theater room, televisions and a party room for groups to play games together. In the theater room, patrons can use the projector to play video games, making the characters so large they appear to be life-sized, Thompson said.  

Hungry Gamer customers are invited to bring their own game disks to play on the PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii U and Xbox 360 consoles onsite. In addition to the video games, classic board games will soon be available to cater to the more “old school” guests.

The restaurant portion of the establishment offers typical café fare such as deluxe sandwiches and hors d’oeuvre options like hummus. The Hungry Gamer menu offers vegetarian deluxe sandwiches, which appeal to non-meat-eating clients, said Megan Thompson.

In addition to receiving public funding on Kickstarter, the Texas State Small Business Development Center helped guide Pete and Megan Thompsons’ goal for Hungry Gamer by providing information and resources to succeed.  

“We helped Pete get a business plan and financials together for PeopleFund and helped the business launch and grow,” said Lisha Garcia, certified business advisor for the Small Business Development Center.  
While a majority of the gaming clientele at Hungry Gamer are women around 25 years old, many guests are younger and looking for a fun activity that does not involve drinking, Pete Thompson said. Despite the fun nature of the establishment, Hungry Gamer has a set of rules in place.

“One house rule is that anyone under 17 has to have an adult over 25 (present) because of game ratings,” Pete Thompson said.

Although Hungry Gamer has only been open for a few weeks, the owners are hoping to expand both the food menu and gaming opportunities to appeal to a wider audience.