New mini golf, arcade business opens in Alabaster
Published 3:50 pm Wednesday, October 28, 2015
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
ALABASTER – The last time Alabaster resident Ryan Sykes traveled to his childhood home of Keller, Texas, as an adult, he knew he had to show his children the video game arcade at which he spent countless hours of his youth.
But today, he doesn’t have to travel into another state to trigger those fond childhood memories.
“The idea first started when we visited an arcade in Keller, Texas, that I went to a lot as a kid,” Sykes said during an Oct. 28 interview. “It was so memorable to me that I took my kids there to show them where I hung out when I was growing up.”
After rekindling his affection for vintage arcade establishments in Texas, Sykes decided to bring a similar establishment to his current home of Alabaster.
On Oct. 24, Sykes and his fiancé, Jess Whitman, celebrated the grand opening of their new business, Hooligans Family Fun, at 519 First St. S.W. in the same shopping center as Foodland and Chubb’s Grub Station.
The business offers multiple activities for children, adults and anyone who enjoys miniature golf and vintage and contemporary arcade games.
The centerpiece of the business is the nine-hole indoor blacklight miniature golf course featuring a glowing space mural along the wall. When the sun goes down, the miniature golf course, the mural, golf balls and clubs glow in a variety of neon colors.
The other side of the business features billiard tables, skee ball, air hockey and several arcade cabinets featuring games such as Time Crisis, Ms. Pac-Man and Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift.
“All the arcade games are operated off quarters, so it’s like an old-school arcade,” Sykes said, noting none of the games are of the ticket-redemption variety.
The business currently has several arcade machines, but will add several more in the coming weeks, Sykes said.
Sykes and Whitman said they decided to open the business to give the city’s youth a new entertainment opportunity.
“We saw the need. There’s not a lot for kids and teens to do in the area,” Sykes said. “So we came up with this idea last year, and decided to go for it.”
Hooligans is open from Mondays-Thursdays from 3-8 p.m., on Fridays from 3 p.m.-midnight, on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to midnight and on Sundays from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Miniature golf is $6 per game or $10 per day for all-you-can-play.
“We wanted to price it where anyone could come and enjoy it,” Whitman said. “You don’t have to make a certain amount to walk in the door.”