All-ages entertainment center launching in Brownsburg

Press Play Gaming Lounge, a family-friendly entertainment center, is set to open later this month at 1004 E. Main St. in Brownsburg.

The facility, located in a 25,000-square-foot space that formerly housed a Marsh supermarket and a host of other tenants, will offer gaming, virtual reality, Nerf and basketball play areas, a bar area and other amenities.

Press Play plans an invitation-only soft launch Feb. 22-23. After that it will be open to the public from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weeknights and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekends before ramping up its hours. Starting with the March 14 grand opening, the facility will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

The business’ owner is Raymond Embry of Brownsburg, a technical writer who describes himself as “a gamer at heart.” Embry and his wife, Misty, have five children.

Embry said he was motivated to develop Press Play because of the lack of local venues that offer entertainment for both children and their parents under one roof.

As part of his research, Embry said, he and his family visited theme parks, casinos and entertainment centers in Orlando, Las Vegas, Miami, Atlanta and other cities, gleaning ideas he could use for his own venues.

“I traveled a lot this year, just taking in different spaces,” Embry told IBJ. “Every time I went to a different city, I looked at what’s happening there.”

Press Play will offer four gaming areas, each one outfitted with 12 television screens of different sizes plus four Xbox gaming consoles, and couches and other seating.

The facility will provide separate areas for basketball; games using Nerf brand equipment; virtual reality experiences; a toddler activity area; a small arcade; and two party rooms.

Embry is in the process of applying for a liquor permit, and the facility will also sell food—mostly sandwiches and side items.

He said he’s encouraged by the early response from potential customers. Following a social-media marketing campaign to Brownsburg residents, he said, 3,500 people responded saying they’re interested in attending the soft opening. Of those, he expects about a third to actually show up.

Based on the local response to date, Embry envisions adding facilities over the next few years, perhaps in Columbus and West Lafayette. “We know that we’re going to need other locations.”

Press Play will occupy a space that most recently housed a discount store, Deal30 Furniture, which vacated the spot last year. Tenants before that included a Thrifty Supply hardware store and a dance club. The building was built in 1971, Embry said, and it originally housed a Marsh supermarket.

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