On Tuesday, Metuchen officials and YESTERcades announced that the retro arcade’s fourth Garden State location would be located in downtown Metuchen.
YESTERcades, which features more than 100 arcade and pinball machines, gaming stations, billiards and more, will take over the former Manasquan Bank location in the heart of the Brainy Borough – adjacent to the public park that was donated by the financial institution that opened up a brand-new location nearby on Main Street. The retro arcade currently has locations in Somerville, Red Bank and Westfield.
“We are excited to expand our family-friendly, community-driven business to a town like Metuchen that shares our core values and beliefs,” said YESTERcades “Chief Fun Officer’ Fred Logue. “We cannot wait to bring our unique brand of entertainment to everyone in early 2024.”
The announcement marks continued momentum for Metuchen and its Main Street/downtown area, which, as NJBIZ extensively reported on, was named a Great American Main Street Award winner this past spring.
The effort to bring YESTERcades to Metuchen was spearheaded by Metuchen Downtown Alliance (MDA) Executive Director Dawn Mackey, who felt an experiential venue was needed to supplement the town’s already robust restaurant and retail mix.
“It’s not enough to be a town of great places to eat, you need places for residents and visitors to enjoy interactive activity,” Mackey explained.
She collaborated with township officials to help facilitate changes to dated restrictions that were a barrier to such potential business endeavors.
“Our Main Street is filled with the type of independently owned businesses you would expect to find in any thriving downtown. The local pub, an ice cream shop, and pizzerias, to name a few,” said Jason Delia, council president and liaison to the MDA, who was instrumental in this effort. “A tattoo parlor, unique gift stores, upscale dining, and now a public park and arcade in the heart of the downtown. When Dawn approached the Borough with her desire to add experiential businesses to the mix, our first step was ensuring that our ordinances were refreshed and reflective of the town we have become and strive to be – a local destination in the heart of Central Jersey. The collaboration and partnership on this project is a testament to what makes our Borough so special.”
“We are so excited to welcome YESTERcades to our Downtown Metuchen community. They’re a great addition to our business community,” said Bobbie Theivakumaran, MDA chair. “Winning the Great American Main Street Award in March was a validation of the incredible work done in collaboration between the Borough, the MDA, and its many volunteers, and all of that has led to Metuchen being able to court and attract a premier brand like YESTERcades. We look forward to all the opportunities and joy this will bring the community.”
The property is being developed by Rory Josell, a lifelong Metuchen resident, who says it is so gratifying to contribute to her own community through this project.
“My family, along with partners the Rosamilias, share a profound commitment to enhancing our downtown through acquiring, improving, and managing properties throughout the town,” said Josell. “We are thrilled to have worked with the mayor and council, the Borough, and the MDA to bring this collaboration to fruition.”
Mayor Jonathan Busch said that as someone who spent a lot of time in arcades growing up, the opportunity to welcome YESTERcades to Metuchen was like something out of a dream.
“As mayor, your hope is to cultivate a thriving downtown where residents want to spend their time and people from outside the Borough want to visit,” said Busch. “YESTERcades is that special business that will help achieve that goal.”