A multifaceted family arcade in Grand Forks could soon start serving alcohol there -- among other new attractions.
Grand Forks City Council members tentatively approved at a Monday Committee of the Whole meeting this week an alcoholic beverage license for Northern Air Family Fun Center. They’re set to consider final approval next week, pending OKs from various city departments.
The beer and wine service the center hopes to add to its upper level is part of a larger effort to broaden its appeal. The business sports a trampoline park, an arcade, inflatable play places, a 4,000-square-foot laser tag arena and a four-player “Hologate” virtual reality system.
“Northern Air Family Fun Center has more attractions for our young patrons than any other facilities under one roof in hundreds of miles,” owners Bryan, Nicole, Don and Connie Lee wrote to Council members.
But, they said, parents said they’d enjoy attractions for older children and adults, which means installing 10 new televisions, nine axe-throwing targets, a concession area and the beer and wine service.
“We have no intention of letting these new attractions deter us from our obligation to provide the best experience possible for our young customers,” they wrote.
The Lees are also angling to set up a minigolf course.
Planning documents provided to the city indicate that food and alcohol service is set to be contained to two designated areas: the concession stand and an area adjacent to the hoped-for axe-throwing spaces. For the purposes of the license, the establishment would be considered a restaurant.
The axe-throwing, co-owner Bryan Lee said, fits the center’s aim to host activities for families as a whole.
“It’s no different than bowling or anything like that,” he told the Herald. Lee said he took his teen and 20-something children to an axe-throwing spot in the Twin Cities and “they had just as much fun as I did.”
Axe-throwing is a trendy business. “Triple Ax” opened in Fargo last spring, and similar businesses dot the Midwest and beyond.
Patrons 13 and older can try their hand at a toss at the Grand Forks center, and minors must have a parent participate, too, Lee said.