ALBANY — Another recreational venue plans to open its doors at Crossgates Mall before the end of the year.
Apex Entertainment has planned a soft opening for its recreational venue at Crossgates Mall within the next two weeks. This will be the third location for the Massachusetts-based company since opening its maiden storefront in Marlborough, Massachusetts two years ago. It has another location in Syracuse.
The 57,000-square foot space was occupied by Lucky Strike Social until it shuttered its doors in June. Apex Entertainment offers a similar blend of adult and family-friendly entertainment. Attractions will be paired with a restaurant that offers American cuisine, a full-service bar and a 2,500-square foot space for corporate meetings and social gatherings. Despite the similarities, the venue promises to have a different look.
“We have redone the entire location,” stated Sam Miller, Apex Entertainment’s marketing manager. “It looks nothing like it used to.”
Apex Entertainment falls in line with the caliber of attractions Crossgates continues to lure in for its visitors. Instead of a retail-heavy collection of storefronts, the mall also provides a dining and hospitality destination to complement the shopping experience.
In recent years, Crossgates has signed new leases to Dave & Buster’s, Funny Bone comedy club, Skyloft and Spa Mirbeau. Last October, it opened the doors to Tru by Hilton, a 192-room, dual-brand hotel off Western Avenue. Packaged together, it turns Crossgates Mall from a shopping location to a tourist attraction.
Apex Entertainment’s Crossgates location is said to boast more than 65 arcade games, including a virtual reality experience, two escape rooms and a 4,000-square foot laser tag arena. It will also have 22 bowling lanes, four for Candlepin.
One notable omission from Apex Entertainment’s list of amenities is that of a concert venue. Lucky Strike Social had welcomed a wide-range of entertainment inside its Jupiter Hall; live music, review shows and mixed martial arts events.
When Skyloft opened in April, it drew more attention to the live-music space left behind by the previous tenant, Rascals Steakhouse. Skyloft is co-owned by Ivan Spiers, who also co-owns Daryl’s House Club in Dutchess County. With an established pipeline for attracting national music acts, Skyloft threaten Lucky Strike Social before it opened.
Skyloft opened its live music venue with a show featuring Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band in late April. Within two months, Lucky Strike Social closed its doors, with tentative reports Apex Entertainment planned to move in.
Lucky Strike Social continues to maintain more than 20 locations throughout the country, including locations in Boston, New York, Chicago and Honolulu.
Michael Hallisey is managing editor of Spotlight Newspapers.