Pixels Arcade has re-opened and re-located in North Red Deer after lock-down challenges. Owner Andres Alvarez believes Red Deerians have a pent-up desire to have fun again. (Contributed photo).
Pixels Arcade has re-opened and re-located in North Red Deer after lock-down challenges. Owner Andres Alvarez believes Red Deerians have a pent-up desire to have fun again. (Contributed photo)

Pixels Arcade has re-opened and re-located in North Red Deer after lock-down challenges. Owner Andres Alvarez believes Red Deerians have a pent-up desire to have fun again. (Contributed photo). Pixels Arcade has re-opened and re-located in North Red Deer after lock-down challenges. Owner Andres Alvarez believes Red Deerians have a pent-up desire to have fun again. (Contributed photo)

Arcade owner says Red Deerians are ready to rediscover fun

Pixels Arcade has re-opened in a new location

After two long years of COVID restrictions, Andres Alvarez is betting Red Deerians will want to get back to having fun.

Earlier this month, Alvarez re-opened his Pixels Arcade at 7110-50th Ave. As well as an array of arcade games, there are now pool tables, as well as a restaurant, lounge and party rental rooms.

Pixels Arcade was previously in Parkland Mall but was closed last October. Alvarez said provincial restrictions imposed to limit the spread of the virus had a lot to do with the closure.

“I was open for only nine months in the last two years…”

When he decided to re-open the business this spring, Alvarez opted for a store-front location in the north end so he could set his own hours of operation.

Pixels Arcade now sells a greater variety of food and is licensed. “We are family-friendly until 9 p.m. and after 9 p.m. it’s adults only,” said Alvarez, who’s seeing a lot of returning customers, as well as some new faces.

“There’s a lot of excitement, a lot of new clientele…”

He believes central Albertans have a pent-up need to get out and enjoy themselves after two restrictive years of lockdowns.

“I see strangers coming in and they are interacting with each other, and talking, and asking each other if they want to play pool… I think there’s definitely been a lack of social interaction.”

Whereas many arcade-goers at the former location were kids of the 1980s and ’90s, Alvarez has noticed more family groups of adults and children coming to the new location, which has one arcade game that can be played free of charge.

As a father himself, Alvarez knows some younger kids could use the practice without cleaning their parents out of all of their change.

With six employees, he hopes his business has seen the end of COVID restrictions. But Alvarez noted his staff are still being careful: “We still have a procedure where we clean and sanitize all the machines with liquid sanitizer.”

While it’s too early to claim he’s survived the pandemic, he believes things are looking up. “I would say I am surviving.”



lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

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