New Name, Same Games

Eau Claire Games and Arcade rebrands itself because of similarly named restaurant

Samantha Kobs, photos by Lauren Fisher

Eau Claire Games and Arcade
Eau Claire Games and Arcade (315 Graham Ave.)

What happens when two local businesses within two blocks of each other have essentially the same name? Well, definitely confusion … but eventually, a positive solution.

As of mid-September, Downtown Eau Claire’s gaming hot spot originally known as The District Company (315 Graham Ave.) went through a bit of a rebrand after its new neighbor’s decision to open its doors with a very similar name. The introduction of The District Pub and Grill – an eatery very dissimilar to an arcade – at 101 Graham Ave. resulted in all sorts of question marks. Something had to be done for the two places to maintain their very distinctive identities, so a swift and diplomatic agreement was made, thus resulting in the new, more direct name for the entertainment venue: Eau Claire Games and Arcade.

“Although the name meant a lot to ourselves and the people who knew who we were, it wasn’t very descriptive.” – Eau Claire Games and Arcade co-owner Tim Sexton

“Although the name meant a lot to ourselves and the people who knew who we were, it wasn’t very descriptive,” co-owner Tim Sexton said of the arcade’s original moniker. “And obviously we’ve gone through a lot of changes over the years. So we decided to come up with a name that was descriptive and that honored our roots as far as being homegrown in Eau Claire.”

In fact, it might even be a bit of a blessing.

“It has brought people from as far as Minneapolis, La Crosse, and the Winona area. … We get a lot of people from Rice Lake, over to Black River Falls, as far as Madison,” Sexton added. “They’re driving here because they see ‘arcade’ in the name.”

In addition to the name change, there have been some pretty major interior changes as well: namely, the introduction of the 1980s arcade, pinball machines, and possibilities for private parties and corporate events (read V1’s July 26 article for the deets).

Despite the bafflement, Eau Claire Games and Arcade wishes nothing but the best for its new neighbor. “When businesses have success and pull people into the downtown area, we all benefit from that,” Sexton shared. “In the end, obviously it was difficult for us to change the name, but we figured it was best for everyone involved, and we definitely are excited about where we go from here.”