Well, we have our house and car payments both down to under 6000 dollars, which means in two years we will be debt free. We are also sitting on two acres of property, in the country but on a major highway between two larger towns with lots of schools and whatnot, and we are seriously beginning discussions for opening up a small arcade/cafe snack shop on our property. This is still in the talking phase, and is two years away from actually buying stuff and getting the loan for it, but its always best to prepare early. This thread will be beefy, so only read if you are interested and would like some input.
The boring stuff out of the way first, the eatery will just be a basic thing, serving stuff like drinks, nachos, deep fried stuff like fries, tenderloins, cheese sticks, chicken strips, you know, unhealthy stuff lol. I'm also considering basic vending machines instead for chips, drinks, and sandwichs with a couple microwaves in there, not sure which would be better.
The actually building this is all gonna start out in is a prefab garage (the kind you buy for around 6 or 8 thousand, they more or less bring it on a large flatbed and drop it on your property). After that we'd add the bar for the eatery in the back section, add a second garage door on the other end (one garage door on one side for arcade machines and game tables, the other for bringing food in), and doors on each wall, one for an entrance and one for an exit for fire codes. Torwards the bar area a small room will be constructed as a bathroom.
I'm not sure about water and electric. My current idea for water would be to run a branch from out main water line, and than for electric to just put another box in (possibly another meter? not sure.) I'm also not sure about the legal aspects if I can even do this in this manner or not. Still looking into everything.
Cooling is rather simple, just taking a couple of window mount air conditioners (large ones, not the smaller ones, the ones I want I think are 4 or 5 hundred) and mounting them onto the walls on the building. This is cheaper the central air and should easily cool a smaller building. A couple of fans will be put in the kitchen to supplement it if we go the kitchen route instead of vending machines. Heating....I'm not sure about. A furnace is pretty high (just had a new one put in the house).
Initially, I'm considering just a basic gravel entry with parking for maybe 10 to 12 vehicles using the current half acre towards the back. I don't expect a ton of traffic through here, but I may possibly have to work out extending it. I'm also not sure if paving would be better financially or not.
As far as the machines go, I plan on just renting a couple U-Hauls, picking up some towing straps to strap what I buy down, and going to the auction in Terre Haute and loading up. I am hoping 5 grand would pick up all the machines I'd need, although I really want to add a couple pinball tables, a pool table, and maybe if there's room foosball and air hockey. I'm not too sure how much these run, or even if these are at the Terre Haute auction. I'm considering hitting up local bowling alleys and bars and seeing perhaps where they get their tables from.
If we actually make decent money from this idea (i'm expecting more from food than games), I'd prolly get a second pre-fab garage and mod it for lasertag. That'd require insurance for everyone and whatnot, but it'd be awesome setting up lasertag with a playfield that large, and the professional lasertag equipment looks fairly cheap (about a grand for the hardware, than maybe another 3 grand to paint and build the halls/obstructions/barriers and whatnot.
So, thats our crazy idea. I wanna hear any ideas, pics of equipment or maybe SoCals arcade room, anything at all. I'm new to all of this and still doing a lot of research, so I want tons of crazy ideas! Heck, this stuff may not even happen, but I wanna at least try and see how far I can get, especially since there's no arcades here at all til you get to Indianapolis other than bowling alleys and gas stations with maybe two cabs.