My timing wasn’t perfect, but I happened to be passing by Chuck E. Cheese and noticed guys on a ladder dismantling the remains of the one-time overstimulation capital of Natick on Rte. 9.
Chuck E. Cheese is one of those businesses that doesn’t make it easy to know when it closes specific locations, but it has been posting a seemingly endless series of financial statements to update the government and investors about its worsening financials in light of the COVID-19 crisis.
In March the restaurant chain (also including Peter Piper eateries) announced it was temporarily closing all of its 500-plus facilities for eat-in dining and has reported permanently closing 12 locations this year. Chuck E. Cheese has been offering take-out in some locations, even under different names, according to news reports, as well as virtual entertainment options to try to keep its relevance.
When Chuck E. Cheeses do re-open they, like other restaurants, will have a different look. It will be particularly challenging for this chain, as gamers will need to be spaced apart, hand stamps will be out, and the overall germiness that parents embraced to get their kids immunized to just about everything will be a thing of the past.
Meanwhile, Cognex looks only too happy to expand its presence. Not quite Chuck E. Cheese, but a sign on the Cognex lawn does boast about them working and playing hard, so maybe a few of the Chuck E. Cheese arcade games won’t have far to go.