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If you're looking for a rad new place in Chicago to grab a bite, play some games and enjoy an evening out on the town, then you might want to look into Level 257, a new establishment that offers all of the above, as well as a fun Pac-Man theme.
Chicago Eater offers up all of the details on this new dining establishment, as well as a photo gallery you absolutely have to check out. With a name that references the Pac-Man arcade games kill screen, Level 257 actually boasts a subtle amount of retro gaming inspiration, making for a classy as hell hangout for nerds and non-nerds alike.
The spherical lights are reminiscent of Pac-Man's edible pellets, as are the brass studs that decorate much of the furniture in both the dining and lounge areas. Pac-Man memorabilia and artwork can be spotted here and there and, of course, there are a couple of mini-arcades where you can forfeit your coins in order to challenge the game's legendary mazes.
Level 257 also boasts a slick wood design reminiscent of a bowling alley, which is appropriate since a 16-lane alley is also included in the space. It's like I said, this sounds like the perfect hangout spot, boasting private party areas, ping pong tables and a menu boasting references to classic gaming and Pac-Man himself, including “Chocolate 'Power Pellets,' cocktails called Pinky and Midway, and entrees like Creamy Penne Carbonara...Okay, that last one probably isn't a Pac-Man reference, but it sure sounds delicious.
You can check out the menu on the original posting, as well as a snazzy gallery of photos. While Level 257 is currently open to only a select few, you can expect a full launch to come some time after the testing period is complete. Again, you'll need to be in the Chicago area either way, so it's not like I'm jealous or anything.
Personally, I think the West is ready for more themed restaurants like this. Level 257's approach isn't as in-your-face as some, which means it should attract all types of customers, not just those who grew up with a controller in their hand. If the service is quick and the food is as good as it sounds, here's hoping that the owners have a success on their hands.
As for me, I'd take pretty much anything even remotely similar to this at this point. I see what they have in Japan—restaurants themed after Mario Bros., Final Fantasy, Resident Evil and Dragon Quest— and I can't help but feel like I'm living in the wrong city. So, if anyone wants to open, say, a Metal Gear-themed barcade in the middle of Phoenix, I wouldn't complain.