A new arcade experience has arrived in southern West Virginia.
Expressway Food and Fun is an all-new, all-in-one entertainment center for both kids and families featuring a vast assortment of arcade gaming cabinets, a bounce house, a NASCAR simulator and an in-house ice cream parlor.
The arcade also features spacious birthday party rooms where attendees can enjoy their very own carnival atmosphere.
Owner and operator Gary Mills expressed his desire to give back to the community in which he works and which he calls home.
“We’ve been in business with Mills Floor Covering and Epoxy for 29 years and we just felt it was time to give back to the community by giving the local kids somewhere safe to have fun,” Mills said.
The next generation has always been an important part of the Mills family mission as his two sons, Travis and Chris, were athletes at Independence High School and Renae, his wife, is part of the local school system.
The idea for the arcade was born when Mills planned a birthday party for two of his grandchildren and discovered how exorbitant the cost of renting everything was.
“We used a company out of Lewisburg that had inflatables while we rented a gym,” Mills said. “We were like, you know, there are families that cannot afford to spend six, seven or eight hundred dollars to throw a birthday party. There are kids in the area that are not able to have a decent birthday party because of the cost.
“We want people to be able to enjoy life, especially with how expensive everything is now,” Millls said. “That’s why our arcade games are staying at 50 cents. It’s not about the money, it’s about giving back to this community that has been so great and so good to my family. That’s why we’ve done this.”
The arcade itself is lavish and brightly colored with the lights of the cabinets flickering in the background. The building reflects the professionalism that Mills has maintained with his flooring business for almost three decades.
“When they come through the door, we want them to say, ‘Wow, this place is nice.’ When the kids walk in, they always have a smile on their face,” Mills said.
“This building is 4,000 square feet and we can house 50-65 people in the party room,” Mills said. “If you haven’t been by, give us a shot. Look the place over; you’re gonna be really impressed with something like this being here in southern West Virginia.”
Expressway Food and Fun will also offer events.
“When school kicks back off and Friday night football games resume, if you show us that you went to the football game, then you will only pay a $5 cover charge and that will get you a free slice of pizza and a drink.
“We’re gonna do that for all sporting events,” Mills said of just one of the offers he is planning.
“We’re also gonna have cornhole tournaments, we’re planning a car show, and every family that books a birthday party will get a free customized stuffed animal that we build with our own machine,” he said.
Expressway Food and Fun is located at 752 Robert C. Byrd Drive, and its hours of operation are Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday noon to 8 p.m.