It’s safe to say a concept is a hit when a second location is on deck before the first even opens. Such is the case with the soon-to-open Pins Mechanical Company Downtown and an in-the-near-future spot in Dublin.
It’s the second nostalgia-themed entertainment concept from Troy Allen who also owns arcade mecca 16-Bit.
When the first 16-Bit opened in Columbus just shy of three years ago, “16-Bit was a test for us to do something on our own,” Allen says.
That ‘us’ was Allen’s more traditional advertising, marketing and brand strategy firm Elevate Thinking. Over five years the company had grown to about 35 employees, but spirits hit a plateau.
“We built brands for other people and we were kind of past it,” Allen says.
Allen brought 16-Bit, Pins and many of the creative team from Elevate together under a new moniker – Rise Brands.
When building 16-Bit Allen says they built the brand like they traditionally would for any other company, identifying a hole in the market and putting together an aggressive growth plan of five markets in three years.
“It’s out-projected all the numbers that we had,” Allen says.
He was confident in the concept, but, “To get the response that we had from other markets and other cities wanting us come there, or people wanting to be partners in it, that, for me, was a big overwhelming thing,”Allen says.
16-Bit is already well on its way to its quintuple with locations in Cleveland and Cincinnati. Rise is eyeing out-of-state cities Indianapolis and Louisville for the next two joints but is waiting to find just the right space.
As Elevate was morphing into Rise, another concept became an area of focus.
“Pins was something we’ve been working on for probably about two years from a brand standpoint, and looking at what was in the market, how can we make things different, how can we evolve past 16-Bit and really be a bit more family-friendly, do the larger corporate stuff,” Allen says.
Rise came to market with that same idea – five markets in three years. Dublin’s Bridge Park will be the next to get a Pins, likely followed by Cincinnati.
As a business, Rise will largely stick with building its own concepts – of which two more are already in the works – with the occasional project for a past client or friend.
Rise also recently situated itself in a new office not far from Pins on Chestnut Street Downtown. The 4,500 square foot space houses their offices, a game workshop for techs to make sure entertainment is ready to hit the floor, and about 2,500 square feet of a to-be revealed test concept.
And for those of you wondering, Pins is looking at an early-September opening. It’s a large operation – one that requires some 80 employees and 12 managers – so Allen is taking the time to make sure things are done right.
Pins will offer plenty of space to play and plenty of space to relax.
“We want people to be able to come and hang out,” Allen says. “Like with 16-bit, our average guest comes and stays two, three hours because there’s activities to do. It’s a very interactive atmosphere.”
Leather couches, two patios (dog-friendly ones!), food trucks, craft beer, duckpin bowling – it’s all wrapped up into the space designed to make patrons say, “Holy crap.”
For more information, visit risebrands.com.