Family-friendly venues proposed for West Washington Street

Published 9:09 pm Friday, June 26, 2020

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West Washington Street could soon be the home to two different venues designed with children and families in mind.

Christopher Mayes, owner of Party Time Entertainment LLC, is looking to operate an indoor amusement center in an 1,800-square-foot space at 126 W. Washington St.

Specifically, Mayes is looking to use part of the first floor space to rent out for small gatherings and birthday parties for children, with the rental area to include video game equipment, a play area with games such as table tennis, board games, arts and crafts and a seating area.

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The venue, which could hold between 30 to 40 people, would only be available for private parties and would not be open to the public. Rental hours would be from noon to 8 p.m. weekdays and noon to 9 p.m. weekends. Guests would be allowed to bring their own food and drinks, as there will be no food service. However, no alcohol will be allowed on the premises.

Mayes, who already operates a party supply rental store out of 126 W. Washington St., plans to use the front part of the first floor to have a separate space to continue renting and selling party supplies and equipment such as concession machines, party decorations and accessories, and balloons. That part of the business would be open to the public from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Nearby, at 153 W. Washington St., Brian Stewart seeks to establish the Will-O-Wisp Family Game Store and Café on the ground floor.

It would include areas for tabletop games, board games, card games and a café that would serve hot and cold sandwiches, chips, cookies, candy and non-alcoholic beverages. It would also have a toddler play area and a private event/classroom area in the back of the business. Along with gaming space, the business would offer games, cards, strategy books, figurines, toys, home décor and artwork for sale.

It would also offer a library of items that people could rent and return for small fees. Stewart said there would be no gambling or cash prizes involved in the business.

In a narrative description of the proposed use, the store would be free and open to anyone, and it plans to host regular free events at the store, along with limited events that would carry an admission fee.

The store would also carry major brands such as the Pokémon Trading Card Game, Magic the Gathering Trading Card Game, Dungeons and Dragons tabletop role playing games and others.

Stewart is proposing a maximum occupancy of 49 people, including staff and customers, and he plans on no major physical changes to the building.

The Will-O-Wisp Family Game Store and Café would be open from 2 to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, noon to midnight Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. It would be closed on Mondays. However, in the application for the conditional use permit, Stewart said he wants the opportunity to vary the hours of operation based on customer feedback and special events.

“I am hoping to open up this game store for a family-friendly environment so that myself, my family and other people in the community, as well, can enjoy a well-lit, great atmosphere for children and adults alike,” Stewart said during a public hearing on his conditional use permit request.

Both venues received favorable recommendations from city planning staff, and there was no opposition during public hearings at the June 16 Planning Commission meeting. The commission gave its favorable recommendation for the conditional use permits for both venues by 6-0 votes. City Council must give final approval to the permits for both venues and is expected to take up both conditional use permits at its July 15 meeting.