Late-night entertainment on the way?

Dave & Busters
permitted to stay open past 12 a.m.


AFTER MIDNIGHT—The Dave & Busters chain plans to open restaurant/bar/arcade in the Janss Marketplace in Thousand Oaks.

AFTER MIDNIGHT—The Dave & Busters chain plans to open restaurant/bar/arcade in the Janss Marketplace in Thousand Oaks.

Fun after midnight in Thousand Oaks? A new business will seek to prove the concept is no myth.

If it comes to the Janss Marketplace later this year as planned, Dave & Buster’s will join Sunset Terrace (also at Janss) and just a handful of other local establishments open past the strike of 12.

The Dallas-based chain received a thumbs-up Monday from the Thousand Oaks Planning Commission. After hearing from city staff, local law enforcement and Dave & Buster’s reps, commissioners voted 3-0 to grant the restaurant/bar/arcade a specialuse permit to have live entertainment, serve alcohol and stay open longer than normal T.O. business hours.

Commissioners David Newman and Don Lanson were absent.

The live entertainment aspect was what required the company to appear before the body rather than be able get approval on the administrative level. The permit isn’t so much for bands Dave & Buster’s plans on bringing in but for performers appearing in one of the restaurant’s rented party rooms, a company representative said.

If the restaurant does stay open past midnight, it will likely be on Friday and Saturday nights only.

Most Dave & Buster’s sites (there are 120 nationwide) are open from 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday and until 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. The restaurants open at 10 a.m. during football season.

Commissioner Sharon McMahon was interested in the hours following games.

“My ears perked up when you talked about college football,” she said. “There have been many times when coming home from a UCLA game late at night when we want a snack and there’s nothing open but In-N-Out and, you know, it would be nice to have something open when you get back home.”

More importantly, McMahon said, is having an entertainment venue in T.O. aimed at young adults. A lawyer speaking on behalf of Dave & Buster’s said its target demographic is ages 21 to 39.

The hours for Dave & Buster’s—slated to go in the 40,000-square-foot space formerly occupied by Sports Authority— closely match those of Sunset Terrace, another popular late-night destination for food and drink. It would be one of five establishments at the center permitted to serve alcohol.

The mix of alcohol and large crowds was a concern for Commissioner Doug Nickles.

“We don’t have too many venues that accommodate over 2,000 people indoors for entertainment and alcohol until 2 a.m.,” he said.

Senior Dep. Damian Alvarez, Thousand Oaks Police Department’s community resource officer, responded by saying TOPD had reviewed and discussed Dave & Buster’s operations policies with the company and was satisfied that the venue wouldn’t be overly burdensome on local law enforcement.

“(It is) a big experiment for our city,” Alvarez acknowledged.

One concern for Alvarez is the number of people the restaurant might fetch. As the northernmost Dave & Buster’s in the Southern California region, the T.O. establishment will likely draw people from as far as Santa Barbara and Santa Paula, he said. He was, however, satisfied with the safety precautions that would be taken.

“I had vast discussions with Dave & Buster’s,” Alvarez said. “As far as all the conditions we listed, we’re completely comfortable with them.”

With the permit under its belt, the company can move forward with its plans, including remodeling inside and fresh paint outside. The company has indicated it plans to start construction June 1 and hopes to open before year’s end.