Smash Park remodels its loft space for adults 21 and up, looks to expand downtown and in the Midwest
Smash Park combines food, beer and backyard fun in West Des Moines Des Moines Register
West Des Moines entertainment venue Smash Park is remodeling its flagship location as it looks to expand into downtown Des Moines and in cities across the Midwest.
Smash Park's loft area, formerly known as The Deck, will be rebranded into the Paddle Club with more privacy and exclusivity for adults 21 and older, said owner Monty Lockyear.
Meanwhile, Lockyear and his wife, Kerri, are preparing the necessary paperwork to franchise the Smash Park concept. They expect franchisees to open new Smash Park locations in Minneapolis and Cleveland in the next year.
Smash Park opened at 6625 Coachlight Drive in September. Its 47,000-square-feet offers pickleball, shuffleboard, bags, bocce ball, pingpong and other games. There's a fast-casual restaurant and several bars inside and on the patio.
Smash Park's mezzanine has always been reserved for adults, but overlooked the rest of the entertainment venue. The team is building up walls for privacy and sound control, Lockyear said.
"We've heard a lot of feedback that adults would like to enjoy their time at Smash Park, maybe not around kids," he said. "We wanted to add more of a lounge experience."
They added booth seating, additional TVs and games, and a small stage for live entertainment, including trivia, bingo and music. Two giant, upright Scrabble boards are attached to the bar.
Smash Park also added The Board Room to its loft area — a private, rentable room for up to 10 people that has darts, a TV, booth seating and its own service window to the bar. It costs $25 per hour before 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and $40 per hour after 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and on weekends.
The newly remodeled Paddle Club will open Friday night.
Smash Park's model, which is unique to the Des Moines metro, has been wildly popular since its opening, Lockyear said.
"It's been fantastic," he said. "It has exceeded all of our projections so much that we're going to start franchising."
The couple had originally planned to franchise the concept, but did not expect to do it so quickly, Lockyear said. Smash Park is in talks with franchisees who want to open in Minneapolis and Cleveland. They're also targeting locations in Omaha and Texas, he said.
The Lockyears are also working on expanding to a second location in downtown Des Moines. Tentatively called Smash Park Social, it would be a smaller venue featuring Duckpin Bowling, darts, private karaoke rooms, pingpong and foosball. It would not have pickleball in order to save space, Lockyear said.
"The goal is to have a smaller footprint with a different gaming concept," he said.
The Lockyears are looking at three locations downtown, and hope to make a decision in two months. Smash Park Social will also be franchised for locations in smaller markets.
Kim Norvell covers growth and development for the Register. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 515-284-8259.
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