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 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.