Insert Coins opens Oct. 26

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October 8, 2012 // UPDATED 8:00 pm - January 1, 2013
By: Jeremy Zoss
Jeremy Zoss

WAREHOUSE DISTRICT — Video game-themed nightclub Insert Coins, 315 1st Ave. N., has announced a grand opening date of Oct. 26. 

According to co-founder Stefano Sinicropi, the grand opening celebration will kick off a week of Halloween-themed events that will culminate with a major party on Oct. 31.

The nearly 11,000-square-foot club is the second location for Insert Coins after the original Las Vegas location. It combines elements of traditional arcades and nightclubs for an experience Sinicropi said can be enjoyed by everyone. 

“What kind of better, cleaner fun can you have than a place like this?” he asked. “It’s not just ‘let’s go out.’ It’s ‘let’s go out and do something.’”

Around the central dance floor are various booths and play areas, most with their own unique hook. One area is focused on 3D gaming. Another features a four-sided 43-inch “jumbotron” television set up. There is a private room devoted to motion gaming experiences like those offered by the Nintendo Wii and Microsoft Kinect. An upstairs area is devoted to classic arcade machines. 

Insert Coins also does not skimp on the club elements. One end of the dance floor houses a large stage for DJs and live music. A VIP area with a separate entrance and bathroom can be rented for private parties. The dozens of high-definition televisions around the club can be programmed to pulse in time with music, display live feeds of hot spots in the club or broadcast any of 180 different channels. The club will be staffed by both cocktail servers and “game runners” who will bring patrons requested video games and answer any questions they might have on how to play.

“We’re going to try to provide world-class service to everyone that comes in,” said Sinicropi. “If you’re sitting down in front of [the boxing video game] ‘Fight Night,’ it’s not fun if it takes you three hours to figure out how to throw a left hook.” 

Insert Coins will feature all-ages time during the day and switch to a 21+ format at night to keep the business accessible to all audiences. Sinicropi hopes to reach customers who don’t frequent clubs with another selling point: the food. Insert Coins has hired former Caribe Carribean Bistro owner Tony Panelli as his executive chef. Panelli’s restaurant earned many rave reviews, but did not survive the light rail construction outside its St. Paul location. At Insert Coins, Panelli plans to serve Carribean food and more.  

“I’m going to do fusion, but I want to work with my strengths,” said Panelli. “I didn’t get enough time to grow and for people to try the food.”

Insert Coins has also partnered with the Minnesota Vikings to bring a taste of the nightclub to the Metrodome. A “miniature” version of the club, featuring both classic arcade games and modern video game consoles, opened in the stadium’s Gridiron Club on Sept. 23.