Ignite Skokie opened its doors on December 19th, 2018, in what we dubbed an “Open Beta.” We implemented some new concepts and needed to test them out, but also needed to charge full price AND have an excuse for when things didn’t go right. You know… an open beta.
We added booze, table side service, and an 18+ age policy.
These decisions weren’t spawned out of nowhere. When we started planning Ignite Skokie in the Summer of 2016 we did some homework. We dove into our data, ran focus groups, launched surveys, and looked closely at similar concepts. We determined that a majority (70% to be exact) of our guests were adults looking to enjoy video games, food, and alcohol with their friends. So we ran with it.
Two years later we built a gorgeous space, filled it with a team of incredible nerds that love video games and service and opened for business. We were jazzed; tired as hell, but mostly jazzed.
Our first night was a smash hit.
We were the Kings Of Entertainment. No one could stop us. We were on top of the world! Then we got hit with this:
I love ignite that’s the only reason why they get two stars. The fact that I can’t bring my son or younger nephews in here is stupid as all hell.
Then another and another; all from disappointed guests getting turned away at the door because of our age policy. We were determined to maintain our policy and hoped that our community would eventually get it – Skokie is for Adults, Chicago is All Ages. We’ve held onto the policy for close to 3 months and to this day turn away guests and receive feedback like this:
My kids are under 18. WE ARE REALLY PISSED that the Skokie location is only ages 18+!
We realized that, for the past 15 years, Ignite has offered a service that has been accessible to everyone of all ages. Our efforts to change that perception over the past 3 months have hurt our brand and more importantly the community we are ultimately here to serve.
Starting March 20th, Ignite Skokie will be all ages everyday before 9pm and 21+ after 9pm.
(Restrictions apply. See 25 page-8pt-comic-sans-font document below.)
There’s actually not that many restrictions and anyone who uses comic sans should be forever stuck in ELO hell. They do differ from Chicago so make sure to read through them carefully.
We want Ignite to be a place for every gamer. We want to be mindful of each of our guests needs and tailor our services, products, and atmosphere to best serve you. We’re confident that these changes, in the words of Marie Kondo, will spark joy to all. We look forward to serving you.
Skokie Age Policy:
- Guests who are under 16 must be accompanied by an adult or guardian who is 21 or older AT ALL TIMES.
- All guests must have a valid type of identification to allow entry, excluding guests accompanied by a chaperone.
- One Adult/Guardian can only chaperone up to 6 children.
- We’re still 21+ after 9pm. All minors present after 8pm (including minors with chaperones) will be politely reminded to finish playing final rounds.
- At 9pm only guests 21+ will be permitted to remain in the building and we will no longer allow guests under the age of 21 to enter, including guests with a chaperone.