GameWorks bankrupt; Block E future uncertain

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April 5, 2004 // UPDATED 1:09 pm - April 25, 2007
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie

The GameWorks arcade chain, which owns the Block E restaurant and bar at the corner of Hennepin Avenue and North 7th Street, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection March 19, according to arcade game trade publications.

The legal status allows a company to stay in business while it reorganizes, providing it temporary protection from creditors.

Bankruptcy allows company to escape leases, such as the one the GameWorks has at Block E. GameWorks officials could not be reached for comment about whether they would remain at the entertainment complex, and Block E general manager Sue Bonin said she hadn't been informed of the company's plans as of April 2.

The restaurant/bar chain, jointly owned by Sega Enterprises and Universal Studios, first opened in Seattle in 1996. There are 14 GameWorks in the United States and restaurants in Guam and Kuwait.

The Block E GameWorks features bowling, "Dance Dance Revolution," an interactive game billed as "karaoke for your feet," and more than a 100 other motion-simulated games.

The news comes shortly after the Snyders Drug Store in Block E closed, also breaking its lease due to bankruptcy. The Minnetonka-based chain filed for Chapter 11 protection in September.