Mike Cichy has been seeking a new locale for his arcade business since reluctantly closing the Seattle Waterfront Arcade last September.
He’s found one on Bremerton’s Fourth Street.
The fourth generation arcade owner, who lives in Illahee, signed a lease last week and has already begun remodeling a space on the 600 block. His plan includes roughly 40 games covering 2,000 square feet, along with a space for birthday parties.
“There will be something for everybody,” says Cichy, 36. “From toddlers to grandparents.”
Cichy, a fourth-generation arcade owner, would prefer to still have the arcade on the Seattle waterfront. Last year, he was given a 30-day notice to vacate from Pier 57 by its owners. Cichy said that redevelopment on the waterfront made finding a different space near impossible. He didn’t want to pay too high a price for space but also didn’t want to settle for a spot devoid of foot traffic.
So he looked closer to home.
“We were up in the air as far as what to do,” he said.
It wasn’t Cichy’s first time looking, and even finding, arcade spaces in Bremerton. He’s leased games inside the now-defunct Kart Trax on Wheaton Way and at the Bremerton Ice Center. He originally moved here with his wife, Joanna, who is a Bremerton native. The couple married in 2000.
His family has opened gaming centers all over the Puget Sound area, most recently the Seattle Waterfront Arcade. Cichy’s father, Gary, became manager at what was then called “Quarters” on the waterfront in 1994. The family bought Quarters and renamed it the Seattle Waterfront Arcade in 2002.
After looking at numerous locations in downtown Bremerton, he settled on one formally held by The Rockit Roost, an eclectic rockabilly and beer store that went out of business there in 2014. The building is owned by Timothy Stimac, who also owns the salon across the street from it.
He liked best the supportive atmosphere among business owners on Fourth Street, anchored by the 10-screen movieplex SEEfilm, for a location.
“I like the neighborhood feeling,” he said. “There’s a real sense of community down there.”
Ideally, he’d like to operate the Bremerton location and find another on, or near, the Seattle waterfront. But he feels he’s found a permanent home for his business.
“I’m looking longterm,” he said. “I’d like to be here 20 years — or more.”
No date has yet been set for the arcade’s opening but Cichy would like to be in business before June if possible.