The Journal Gazette
Thursday, August 08, 2019 1:00 am

Entertainment center to open in Glenbrook

Planned for former Carson's

SHERRY SLATER | The Journal Gazette

A Japanese company will open a family entertainment center in the former Carson's store in Glenbrook Square in spring 2021, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Round1 places bowling, billiards, karaoke, ping pong, darts and more than 250 arcade games under one roof. The locations also include a kids zone, where younger children can climb and crawl.

“Offering a variety of activities, Round1 is unparalleled by its competitors,” Anna Ikari, Round1 spokeswoman, said in a statement.

Carson's, an upscale department store, occupied the 120,000-square-foot anchor store space from fall 2013 until spring 2018. Before that, the two-story location sat empty for more than eight years following Marshall Field's closing in June 2005.

The leasing agreement calls for Round1 to occupy the former store's entire second floor. It's unclear whether another tenant or use has been determined for the remaining space. It's also unclear how many jobs Round1 expects to create here.

Round1 operates 33 U.S. locations, with 12 others listed as coming soon and 16 more designated as future locations, according to the company's website. Glenbrook appears as a future location.

“Entertainment is definitely a growing area,” said Lindsay Kahn, a spokeswoman for Brookfield Properties, Glenbrook's owner. Signing Round1 to a lease is evidence that Brookfield is continuing to evolve the regional mall, she added.

Seven Round1 locations are in Brookfield-owned properties, with nine more in the works, Kahn said.

Each Round1 location has dining and bar areas. The menu includes pizza, burgers, chicken wings, nachos, french fries and ice cream, according to the website. The bar serves beer, wine and mixed drinks.

Hours of operation vary, but admission after 10 p.m. is restricted to those 18 and older and after midnight to those 21 and older unless accompanied by a “guardian” 25 years or older.

Valid state ID is required at entry, according to the website.

The company traces its roots to a Japanese roller skating rink that opened in 1980. The facility expanded a few years later to include a bowling alley. The owners adopted the Round1 name in 1993 and expanded across Japan.

As of 2017, there were 105 locations in Japan. The company began opening U.S. locations in 2014.

“As the numbers of Round1 stores increase, sales and revenue are quickly increasing as well,” the company's website states. “Expanding our store locations is positively leading to solid brand awareness. This type of approach to brand awareness is vital in becoming a national brand in the entertainment and amusement industry.”

An accompanying graphic shows Round1 revenue increasing from more than $12 million in 2014 to more than $65 million in 2017 and projected to exceed $105 million in 2018.

Brookfield Properties acquired Glenbrook in August 2018, the same month Sears announced it would close its Glenbrook location by the end of the year. That left the mall with only two of its four anchor stores occupied.

Seritage SRC Finance LLC, a real-estate investment trust in New York City spun off from Sears Holdings in 2015, has unveiled plans to tear down the Sears store and build a strip-like retail center called Shoppes at Glenbrook and a new, free-standing Portillo's restaurant.

Demolition has begun at the site.

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