The Circuit arcade-bar powers down in Scott’s Addition

the circuit arcade bar cropped

The business opened in a former warehouse in 2017. (BizSense file)

It’s game-over for the first arcade-bar that led the trend’s charge into Richmond years ago. 

The Circuit Arcade Bar has closed permanently at 3121 W. Leigh St. 

Its immediate closure was announced with a note on its door late last week.

The Circuit was among the first trendy, entertainment-focused bars to arrive in Scott’s Addition. It opened in 2017 and was followed shortly after by Bingo Beer Co., bowling alley River City Roll, shuffleboard bar Tang & Biscuit, and Slingshot Social Game Club, the last of which is also owned by The Circuit co-owners and married couple Robert and Ingrid Lupica. 

Tang & Biscuit closed in a similar manner over the summer. 

the circuit note scaled 1

The note posted to The Circuit’s doors last week.

The note on the door at Circuit states that it “has closed for good,” and directed customers to Slingshot, which remains open at 1304 McTavish Ave.  

It also stated that all Circuit employees “have been given the opportunity to continue their employment at Slingshot.”

In addition to vintage arcade cabinets, pinball machines and modern video games, The Circuit also offered dozens of craft beers that customers poured themselves from the walls of the arcade-bar. 

The Lupicas were among the first franchisees for fro-yo chain Sweet Frog in the early 2010s before signing on to open The Circuit in about 6,300 square feet in Scott’s Addition.

The Lupicas initially had been leasing The Circuit’s space in Scott’s Addition before buying a stake of the property in 2022. Earlier this year they sold the real estate to Duke Dodson’s local development firm, Dodson Development Group, for just shy of $4 million. 

At the time of the sale, Robert Lupica said he anticipated that the roughly 1-acre parcel would eventually be redeveloped but that The Circuit had “at least three more years.”

Robert Lupica did not respond to multiple calls and messages left seeking comment, and Dodson wasn’t available for comment. 

In 2021, Slingshot’s building also got a new owner when it sold as part of a larger deal for almost $11 million

In addition to Slingshot and Bingo, other arcade bars in the Richmond area include DawnStar Video Games and Arcade, which is currently on the move in Scott’s Addition, and DraftCade, a concept in Short Pump Town Center from the owners of Funny Bone Comedy Club. 

Meanwhile, as The Circuit closes, Bingo Beer Co. has welcomed some new members to its ownership team. The brewery and arcade bar announced earlier this month that its general manager Chris Brumfield and head brewer Ken Rayher have been brought on as co-owners. It’s at least the second time Bingo has added to its ownership group, and it now has eight co-owners. 

the circuit arcade bar cropped

The business opened in a former warehouse in 2017. (BizSense file)

It’s game-over for the first arcade-bar that led the trend’s charge into Richmond years ago. 

The Circuit Arcade Bar has closed permanently at 3121 W. Leigh St. 

Its immediate closure was announced with a note on its door late last week.

The Circuit was among the first trendy, entertainment-focused bars to arrive in Scott’s Addition. It opened in 2017 and was followed shortly after by Bingo Beer Co., bowling alley River City Roll, shuffleboard bar Tang & Biscuit, and Slingshot Social Game Club, the last of which is also owned by The Circuit co-owners and married couple Robert and Ingrid Lupica. 

Tang & Biscuit closed in a similar manner over the summer. 

the circuit note scaled 1

The note posted to The Circuit’s doors last week.

The note on the door at Circuit states that it “has closed for good,” and directed customers to Slingshot, which remains open at 1304 McTavish Ave.  

It also stated that all Circuit employees “have been given the opportunity to continue their employment at Slingshot.”

In addition to vintage arcade cabinets, pinball machines and modern video games, The Circuit also offered dozens of craft beers that customers poured themselves from the walls of the arcade-bar. 

The Lupicas were among the first franchisees for fro-yo chain Sweet Frog in the early 2010s before signing on to open The Circuit in about 6,300 square feet in Scott’s Addition.

The Lupicas initially had been leasing The Circuit’s space in Scott’s Addition before buying a stake of the property in 2022. Earlier this year they sold the real estate to Duke Dodson’s local development firm, Dodson Development Group, for just shy of $4 million. 

At the time of the sale, Robert Lupica said he anticipated that the roughly 1-acre parcel would eventually be redeveloped but that The Circuit had “at least three more years.”

Robert Lupica did not respond to multiple calls and messages left seeking comment, and Dodson wasn’t available for comment. 

In 2021, Slingshot’s building also got a new owner when it sold as part of a larger deal for almost $11 million

In addition to Slingshot and Bingo, other arcade bars in the Richmond area include DawnStar Video Games and Arcade, which is currently on the move in Scott’s Addition, and DraftCade, a concept in Short Pump Town Center from the owners of Funny Bone Comedy Club. 

Meanwhile, as The Circuit closes, Bingo Beer Co. has welcomed some new members to its ownership team. The brewery and arcade bar announced earlier this month that its general manager Chris Brumfield and head brewer Ken Rayher have been brought on as co-owners. It’s at least the second time Bingo has added to its ownership group, and it now has eight co-owners. 

Your subscription has expired. Renew now by choosing a subscription below!

For more informaiton, head over to your profile.

Profile


SUBSCRIBE NOW

 — 

 — 

 — 

TERMS OF SERVICE:

ALL MEMBERSHIPS RENEW AUTOMATICALLY. YOU WILL BE CHARGED FOR A 1 YEAR MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL AT THE RATE IN EFFECT AT THAT TIME UNLESS YOU CANCEL YOUR MEMBERSHIP BY LOGGING IN OR BY CONTACTING [email protected].

ALL CHARGES FOR MONTHLY OR ANNUAL MEMBERSHIPS ARE NONREFUNDABLE.

EACH MEMBERSHIP WILL ONLY FUNCTION ON UP TO 3 MACHINES. ACCOUNTS ABUSING THAT LIMIT WILL BE DISCONTINUED.

FOR ASSISTANCE WITH YOUR MEMBERSHIP PLEASE EMAIL [email protected]




Return to Homepage

POSTED IN Restaurants

Editor's Picks

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

15 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Bruce Milam
Bruce Milam
7 months ago

Scotts Addition as the “entertainment district” for the young has been oft cited as the reason its apartments have been such a popular new place to live. If all the entertainment venues are purchased and redeveloped as apartments, what will be the lure?

Bob Wilkus
Bob Wilkus
7 months ago
Reply to  Bruce Milam

idk maybe the 20 breweries and restaurants ?

David Humphrey
David Humphrey
7 months ago
Reply to  Bruce Milam

There is still plenty to do in the area. Plus, many of the new buildings have commercial space on the first floor which will allow for new entertainment venues.

Honestly, I think this is as much about a business cycle than anything else. They were first out of the box, but as noted below, they did not necessarily maintain it the best. When others came in and perhaps did it better (Bingo and Dawnstar) they lost their edge. If they weren’t willing to improve to get it back it was time for them to close.

Michael Morgan-Dodson
Michael Morgan-Dodson
7 months ago
Reply to  David Humphrey

I do agree you don’t innovate and inspire your space will die but someone might want to raise a little concern. It was 15 or 16 at its peak and now down to I believe 11 breweries, cider, and other alcoholic places in SA. Interesting Blue Bee moved out and still has not opened up its new space. As for retail spaces in new buildings in RVA really started to shrink in 2020-2021. The INK building by Capital Square has only 5900 sq ft in three spaces. And even new announcements (especially on Southside) we are seeing 1 small retail… Read more »

David Humphrey
David Humphrey
7 months ago

There’s always going to be a peak and settle in any area or any type of business. When Circuit opened they were the first. Now even though they are gone there are still two others left. 11 breweries and alcoholic places in such a small area is still pretty good. The ones that remain will be the strongest most likely to endure through the continued development. As for commercial on every building. I honestly don’t want that. Some main streets deserve it, but if you try to do that on every street it simply does not work unless you are… Read more »

Nick Feakins
Nick Feakins
7 months ago

I really liked Circuit when it opened but they really let it go. The machines were never working and it was dirty. Bingo had a much better presentation and was more family friendly.

Brian Ezzelle
Brian Ezzelle
7 months ago

If they only could have gotten a Paperboy game with working handlebars

William Willis
William Willis
7 months ago

Tang & Biscuit was a bigger loss to this area than Circuit. Wish they could have keep Tang & Biscuit around it was a great concept.

Will Hazel
Will Hazel
7 months ago
Reply to  William Willis

I’ll be honest, I tried Tang & Biscuit twice. The shuffleboard was fun enough, but the food on both occasions was absolutely horrific. Not that Circuit was a culinary masterpiece, but it didn’t taste like cleaning supplies, either.

Will Hazel
Will Hazel
7 months ago

At the rate apartment developers are scooping up the reasons to hang out in Scotts Addition, there aren’t going to be any compelling reasons to actually live there/go there. Sad 🙁

Chris Terrell
Chris Terrell
7 months ago

I went several times when they were new and enjoyed it, but it is hard to have a successful arcade when the machines are too often out of order or in disrepair as was the case in later years. For those that want to scratch the pinball itch, Richmond Pinball Collective on Midlothian Turnpike is the best place in town (40 pinball machines, all maintained well). Guests are always welcome, and a membership with RPC is very affordable. (Truth in advertising, I am on the board, we are an all-volunteer non-profit dedicated to providing a fantastic pinball experience). Sorry to… Read more »

Edward Christina
Edward Christina
7 months ago
Nick Minnix
Nick Minnix
7 months ago

Good riddance! I agree with Nick Feakins. The Circuit had gone down hill big time! Dawn Star and BINGO are way better alternatives!

Craig Davis
Craig Davis
7 months ago

Went a month or so ago for the 1st time in a long while and more games were out of service than were working. I thought they had to be doing that by choice and would be on the way out. Bummer. Place was really cool when it first opened.

George MacGuffin
George MacGuffin
7 months ago

Many establishments in SA revolve around drinking beer. Beer/breweries had its (long) moment and is now in fierce decline particularly among the younger generational cohort. A fleeced renter in SA can mitigate ennui with beer and video games in their $1700 studio for far less, if so inclined.