I can't live without your love and DK Effect(ion)
By Christopher West
This June in the Huffman District on Third Street, Dayton finally got a good arcade. Arcades and brewcades are nothing new, but they're new to our area. Arcades have been making a comeback for years and they've been creeping in from New York and San Francisco to middle America. There have been several arcades in Cincinnati and Columbus for years, but never ones this close. All of the sudden there have been at least four that I'm aware of that have opened in the last year or so in the area.
All of these arcades are very different though. Some are more for kids, some are very commercial, and some seem to only have arcade games as a cool background for the young and cool. One of these mixes in the best of all of these attributes and that is DK Effect. It’s located at 1600 E. Third St.
Local Tony Clark, who lives in the area, wanted to see his neighborhood cleaned up and bring something positive to the area. The previous owners ran one of those Cricket phone/smoke shop/auto parts stores. You know, the kind of place that requires a tear drop tattoo to enter.
He decided this was the place. Not sure if Taqueria Mixteca had anything to do with the decision, but I'm sure it didn't hurt. If you don't know, the restaurant is one of the best kept not-so-secret anymore authentic Mexican restaurants in the area. When I tell people about DK Effect, I usually say it’s across the street from Taqeria Mixteca and they know exactly what I'm talking about.
Clark and a few investors bought the building last year with big dreams. Upon reading a lot of interviews, it seems they were somewhat worried about getting a liquor license and the whole megillah was riding on that.
They did get the license, but some people on the Huffman Historical Association had reservations about the new business. Some worried about the arcade bringing in noise and crime and all around bad dudes. I found it almost hysterical that in 2016 there are still some older segments of our society that think of arcades in the same way a lot of America did in 1980. In their minds, they probably pictured something that resembled the cast of The Lost Boys coming in and sucking the blood out of their property values.
In the end they prevailed and what has emerged is something that was much needed in our area. It’s a place you can bring your kids, but doesn't feel like a Chuck E. Cheese. It’s very homegrown and promotes other local businesses.
You can tell they really care about gaming and game preservation. It's cool and a little hipster, but it’s not covered in fancy hardwood floors or punched sheet metal. In other words, the games are made to feel more important than the atmosphere and the liquor.
Again, I'll be upfront and say I've never been drunk in my life and that part does not appeal to me at all. That said, they do have a great mix of cocktails, IPA's, and craft beers on tap. The owners also frequently bring in local food trucks and Pizza from Dayton’s own Pizza Factory. They're very dedicated to help promote other local entrepreneurs and business owners.
Earlier I mentioned Taquiera Mixteca. The bar has Taco Tuesdays where they work with Taquiera Mixteca to bring the delicious tacos across the street the arcade. You can continue playing as the tacos fly from heaven to the Simpsons arcade game and into your mouth.
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As for the games they have a great mix from the 80's through the 90's. They have the holy licensed trinity of X-Men, Turtles, and Simpsons. There's a good mix of fighting games like Street Fighter, Tekken, and Mortal Kombat.
They have light gun games, driving games, skeeball, and pinball. Of course all the early Namco, Midway, Atari, and Nintendo cabinets of the late 70's and early 80's are here. The owner said they have another 70 cabinets that they'll be swapping out as they get cleaned up and ready.
I must also say the staff and owners were very nice. They attempted to talk to me a few times, but my wife took over. I'm not really a people person and most people realized that after 30 seconds and move on so don't take offense. The gesture was nice any way. They really try to make people feel invited. I recommend visiting as soon as you can. We need more places like this in Dayton so show them your support.