As Soapbox reported in August, Westwood is on an upswing. The planning efforts of the Westwood Coalition, a group of community members and civic organizations, have begun to pay off with increased city investment and an influx of new businesses like Lillywood Home Décor, Muse Café and West Side Brewing.
Leslie Rich, a long-time Westwood resident and board chair for community building nonprofit Westwood Works, has been instrumental in stewarding this positive change. Now she and her husband Bill are striking out with their own new venture, Supercade, to bring some added fun to the neighborhood.
“I spent the last nine years promoting the neighborhood, so it made sense for us to invest in it,” says Rich. "We saw a lack of spaces for people of all ages and backgrounds to gather in a fun way.”
To fill this gap, the couple will be opening a retro arcade with upright cabinet games, pinball machines and air hockey. Though Supercade will serve alcohol, “it’s not going to be a place where you have to drink to play,” Rich says.
The arcade will also offer local snacks, popcorn and cane sugar sodas, and is hoping to work with West Side Brewing to develop a signature root beer.
Supercade, which is slated to open by March, will charge $7 for one hour of free play or $12 for two hours of free play access, and will also be available to host parties and team-building sessions for local companies.
The Riches began collecting game consoles back in 2016, and turned their living room into a mini-arcade before securing the former Keidel Plumbing building at 3143 Harrison Ave. for their new venture.
“We’ve been driving all over the Midwest to build our collection,” Rich says. That collection includes a Donkey Kong cabinet signed by world record holder Billy Mitchell, whose high score is still on the machine.
The couple is excited about how the arcade will be more than just a business, but also a way of building community. “We think there is a physical community that can be built on top of the virtual community,” Rich says.
In an increasingly tech-driven world, Rich believes that people are looking for those places where they can have relationships, physical interactions and conversation.
Supercade has a Kickstarter campaign running through Dec. 11, with a goal of raising $20,000 in additional capital. “Up until this point we’ve bootstrapped and done it ourselves, but this will help us get up and running even faster,” Rich says.
Visit Supercade's Facebook and Instagram for more information and to stay up-to-date on the storefront's progress.