If 2020 had an official slogan, it would be “Where A Kid Can’t Be A Kid.” Children right now can’t get together with friends, climb on playgrounds, or see theater movies, and when all this settles down, they may not be able to go to Chuck E Cheese either.
CEC Entertainment, the company that runs most locations of the Chuck E franchise as well as a smaller chain called Peter Piper Pizza, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. That doesn’t mean they’re gone but it does mean they’re more likely to go in the near future.
Some readers may recall a weird news story making the rounds a couple months ago where a new pizza joint named “Pasqually’s Pizza & Wings” was offering food delivery. Those with encyclopedic knowledge of Chuck E lore immediately recognized Pasqually as the only human member of Munch’s Make-Believe Band. It was indeed Chuck E Cheese under an incognito name (maybe they should’ve picked a better one). And now we know what drove such a move: desperation.
Chuck E Cheese has never had the best reputation when it comes to the food it serves, but was able to slack on it due to all the amusement gimmicks it blanketed itself with. Now that undesirable food is all they’ve got, and though they’ve managed to open some locations again, no families are showing up other than the irresponsible ones. How will that rat get out of this one?
Chuck E Cheese (and Showbiz Pizza in some states) has been a staple of childhood since the early 1980s, and it’ll hurt if we have to watch it go, but hey…at least we’ll still have Dave & Buster’s. I think.