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New game complex brings out the kid in everyone

Fuzion arcade adds to entertainment options in Huntington Beach.

March 05, 2014|By Michael Miller
  • The Lazer Tag facility at Fuzion in Huntington Beach is decorated with a safari theme.
The Lazer Tag facility at Fuzion in Huntington Beach is… (KEVIN CHANG, HB…)

It took an eager, wide-eyed boy to assemble the game lineup at Fuzion, the new family entertainment complex that opened this week in Huntington Beach.

That boy exists inside a 38-year-old man, but there you have it.

General manager Alfred Sims, who has previously opened venues for Namco Entertainment in the United States and Puerto Rico, tapped into his childhood favorites to build Fuzion's arcade. Monday afternoon, "Pac-Man," "Fire Ball" and others lined the dimly lit confines at 7227 Edinger Ave.

"It was fun," Sims said as machines beeped, clanged and flashed colors around the mostly unpopulated room. "I think, as adults, we still have that inner kid in us too that we want to come out."

Not many kids of any kind had come out midway through Fuzion's first day of business, but such are Monday afternoons in March. This weekend, Fuzion — a revamped version of Endless Food & Fun, the similar entertainment complex that resided in the same spot until it closed a year ago — will hold its official grand opening, and if the room resounds with the ambience of clattering quarters and popping wine corks, Sims and his team will know they have a hit.

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Fuzion doesn't offer the only arcade in Huntington Beach, or even the only one in the surrounding neighborhood. Nickel! Nickel!, which features a wide array of games, is practically across the street, and Chuck E. Cheese's resides just to the north. And the new restaurant, whose menu ranges from Thai pasta to burgers to specialty pizzas, is far from the only eclectic place to eat around Bella Terra.

Still, chief executive Keeli Scott Lisack believes that the venue is unique for how many demographics it brings together in a few adjoining rooms. While kids play Lazer Tag in one of the two themed rooms (jungle and neon graffiti) or queue up for joysticks, adults can relax in the relative quiet of the restaurant or browse the beer and wine list.

And while the banquet rooms may not be every sexagenarian's idea of a party location, Lisack recently was approached by a man who hoped to throw a 60th-birthday bash at Fuzion.

"We kind of run the gamut of all the age groups, because we can do the kids, we can do the young adults, and we can do the older adult groups," she said. "So it's kind of a mix. That's a little bit of where the name Fuzion really came from."

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