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Dixie’s ‘Rockade’ to open this weekend

‘Sneak peek’ set for Friday, Saturday

April 17, 2014
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

The owners of the Dixie Roadhouse are opening a new adult arcade in the South Cape, complete with old-school games, two bars stocked with liquor and a kitchen that will serve up pub favorites.

Rockade will open to the public this weekend with sneak peek parties planned tonight and Saturday. Located at 1015 S.E. 47th Terrace, next door to the Dixie, the venue features about 6,000 square feet of indoor space and 1,300 square feet for the patio, along with an outdoor bar and a 65-foot bar inside.

"We decided to move into that space because we wanted to control what concept was there," David Townsend, co-owner of the Dixie Roadhouse and now Rockade, said. "We can operate it cheaper than other people because we can share management, marketing, a lot of the expenses (with the Dixie)."

The melding does not stop at the business level, patrons can roam between the two venues.

"There's a doorway inside that opens up between the buildings," he said, adding that years ago the spaces were accessible to one another. "They were connected, so we're opening them back up."

Townsend explained that it provides options for a couple or group that may not want to do the same thing. She can line dance with friends, and he can watch sports or play games - all at one stop.

"Our main goal is to bring more people to the entertainment district, to (Southeast) 47th Terrace, and give them another alternative," he said. "We're trying to develop a little nightlife there."

While sneak peek party passes were handed out, the festivities are free and open to the public.

"We'll have most of our arcade games, and we'll have a deejay," Townsend said of this weekend's events, noting that the kitchen will not be ready. "We wont have food for a couple of weeks."

An official grand opening for Rockade is scheduled for May 16.

"We're excited to offer another option in entertainment in the South Cape," Lynn Pippenger, co-owner of the two venues and president of the South Cape Hospitality and Entertainment Associations, said.

"We really don't have anything like this in the area now, so it's a good addition," she said.

Rockade offers classic games like Pac-Man, Space Invaders and Galactica, along with air hockey, Skee-Ball, shuffleboard and a pool table. Newer games include Golden Tee Golf and bowling.

"We'll have big screens where people can play Xbox, Wii and PlayStation games," Townsend said.

The games are all pay-to-play, with costs ranging from 25 cents to $1.

"We're going to keep them as cheap as we can," he said.

Like the take-me-back games, the music will be nostalgic but also fun and upbeat.

"Kind of like memory button music," Townsend said. "It will be recognizable, danceable."

When it tentatively opens in about three weeks, the kitchen at Rockade will feature "basic bar food," with a speciality item touch. For example, one menu item is grilled cheese with thick Texas toast.

Staples like wings, burgers and pizza are also likely to be among the choices.

"The food's going to be good quality products, good portions and value priced," he said.

The kitchen menu will be available to patrons of the Dixie.

Townsend spent 17 years in Texas and is familiar with the entertainment business. He explained that adult arcades are a growing trend in the United States, from Texas, to New York and California.

"We've seen this concept working in a lot of places around the county," Townsend said.

For more information about Rockade, visit online at: or you can visit the venue's Facebook page at:



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