By Rachael Krause, WAVE 3 News
Three years after opening their first location, the owners of Recbar in Jeffersontown are preparing to open their second. This new spot will be located in the heart of downtown New Albany.
For years, the former La Rosita on the corner of Spring and Pearl Streets has sat empty, but it won’t for much longer. Corey Sims and Tony Thomas said it’s perfect for their second Recbar.
“We wanted to bring that entertainment aspect and really give a reason for families and adults to have a fun place to go before or after dining out in New Albany,” Sims said.
There’s nothing like this popular vintage arcade space and restaurant in town.
“We don’t have anything like this. We have a few pinball machines, we have some arcade games but this will have a concentration of them and it will serve all ages, even folks like me that remember pinball in the ’80’s, space invaders,” Mayor of New Albany Jeff Gahan said.
Since opening their J-town location three years earlier, Sims and Thomas have considered opening a second because Recbar has been such a draw.
“I mean, we’ve had people travel from as far as West Virginia, the northern parts of Indiana, Illinois. We’ve kind of become a destination for the region,” Sims said.
“Hopefully a lot of those people will cross the bridge and all. We’re looking to draw as much as we can to New Albany,” Thomas said.
Work will begin in the next few weeks to transform the 26,000 square foot spot in New Albany into the future Recbar. The work is expected to wrap up by the end of August or early September. The owners are hoping to get it done and ready for customers ahead of Harvest Homecoming.
“You can still expect the same fun, old, retro games, just on a larger scale. We can accommodate more people in the building and put some bigger and better games that might not fit in the smaller spaces that we currently have,” Sims said. “We’ve got some mini-bowling lanes that we’re putting in and a few other surprises that you won’t currently see at the current Recbar.”
Recbar is the latest in a series of businesses announcing plans to move into downtown, including HMS Global Maritime just last week. And Gahan said more growth is on the way.
“We’re really thrilled that all this is happening. We’re on a run right now and we want to keep it going,” Gahan said.
There’s a lot of work to do over the next few months, transforming the space into a gaming destination. Sims and Thomas said with the downtown revitalization going on around them, they’re excited to be a part of it.