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  • Writer's pictureTom Reilly

One Of The Largest Classic Arcades In Florida Opens In Gainesville

Alan Festo

The Gainesville Sun

One of the largest arcades in Florida — with some of the most iconic games — can be found right here in Gainesville.

Bragging Rights Amusements, located at 113 NW Eighth Ave., opened next to The Hatchetbury in September and features 260 games of all kinds, including new and classic arcade games, pinball machines, racing games, shooting games, carnival games, Skee-Ball and much more.

Co-owner Greg Stetz, a local real estate developer, said he acquired about 90% of the games during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic at a time when struggling arcade owners were trying to unload their inventory. He said he has about 1,500 more games in a 30,000-square-foot building across the street.

"We were buying games by the truckloads from people, just because they were panicked," Stetz said. "If I unleash them all, then it becomes the second biggest arcade in the world."

Bragging Rights, which also features a bar, provides a $25 all-you-can-play experience, and Stetz said it's amazing to see how many people can spend 11 hours playing video games on a Saturday afternoon.

Some of the more popular games, according to Stetz, are "Pack-Man Smash," "Discs of Tron," " Dance Dance Revolution" and the latest "Big Buck Hunter."

Stetz and co-owner Matt Lutz have even ordered two custom-made Whac-A-Mole games, one with national Democratic leaders and the other with Republican leaders.

"I am politically non-discriminatory,” he said while noting he’s curious to see which one gets played more.

Stetz said his favorite game depends on the competition.

"If you beat me on a game, then that will become my favorite," he said. "I will play it incessantly."

That's evident by the frequently held contests and social media posts challenging gamers to beat high scores. Stetz said they also can create custom contests and prize pools for such occasions as birthday and holiday parties, corporate events and more.

or those that enjoy playing games of skill and earning tickets, Stetz has partnered with local artists to create unique and better prizes that parents won't just want to toss in the trash. He said he has received an "astounding" response to the idea, and hopes to have that part of the business operational in January.

"I have boxes and boxes of jewelry and T-shirts and all sorts of interesting things," he said, while pointing out some custom-decorated mugs. "All the stuff that's going to be in this case is stuff that you're actually going to want to keep."

Those interested in racking up tickets will be issued a different play card than those who take advantage of the all-you-can-play deal.

As far as the food and drinks go, which are available without playing games, Stetz has a food truck called "In Your Face" parked on the side of the building. Though currently on pause, it will serve up wings, nachos, sandwiches, french fries and more.

The bar area has coolers filled with plenty of drinks such as craft beers, sodas and Gatorades. Wine and alcoholic and non-alcoholic slushies also are available.

Stetz said he currently has four beers on tap but will soon expand that to eight. He is in the process of acquiring a walk-in cooler, which he said will allow him to offer as many as 50 beers on draught.

Stetz, however, emphasized that this is not a bar with an arcade, but an arcade with a bar.

"I care about the games and the competition," he said.

Bragging Rights, which will be open on Christmas Day and host a special New Year's Eve event, is open Thursdays from 4 to 11 p.m., Fridays from 4 p.m. to midnight, Saturdays from 1 a.m. to midnight, and Sundays from 1 to 8 p.m.

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