Since its grand opening back in April, the High Score Pinball Arcade in Bay Shore’s Westfield South Shore Mall has steadily become a place of escape for retro gaming lovers.
Now, the arcade is set to get an upgrade.
High Score Pinball Arcade will close Dec. 31, and then reopen Feb. 26 as Video Game Trading Post 3.0, co-owner Mike Burd said.
“Monday through Friday at the mall are quite slow; June, July and August when kids have off from school, it’s popping for the arcade,” Burd said. “We need to transition where we’re going to make money every day as opposed to (only) on the weekends, so adding the retail aspect of it is going to be key in the longevity of the business.”
Burd operates the Video Game Trading Post, with.locations in Levittown and Massapequa. The business buys, sells, and trades old-school video games.
He opened High Score Pinball Arcade with his girlfriend, Melissa Cerquin, in the spring to store his pinball and arcade cabinet collection, while also making them available for play.
Inside there are games that date back to the 1960s and 1970s, while others are more recent or practically brand-new.
With Video Game Trading Post 3.0, Burd said they plan to split the space into an arcade and an old-school video game store.
There will still be a pay-one-price to play option in a small portion of the arcade, but they also plan to offer dollar-a-play on some machines.
“We were getting a lot of feedback from our customers, saying ‘Oh maybe I don’t want to play for half an hour, I just want to play a couple of games and leave,’” he said. “People are going to be able to walk up to the machine and play for a dollar, as opposed to paying $15 for the half-hour or $25 for the all-day pass.”
They also have a showroom that can be rented out for birthday parties and special events.
People can buy, sell and trade in the Bay Shore location as well, for example, trading old Nintendo games for store credit or monthly passes.
The arcade plans to offer monthly passes for the free-play area, which is good news for the regulars who keep coming back.
With over 30 to choose from, Video Game Trading Post 3.0 will house the largest collection of pinball machines on Long Island, plus over two dozen sit-down driving games and full-size arcade machines.
Burd said that over all, they just want to better utilize their 6,400-square-foot space, which remains in the mall until the end of 2022.
“We love it in Bay Shore, we don’t want to leave, we’ve made it our home,” Burd said. “We’re really going to make it our flagship store.”
Continue to follow greaterbayshore.com for updates on the arcade.