Malls Aren’t Dead: Dave & Buster’s Brings More Life (and Jobs) to Hamilton Place

By Holly Bonner

For a '90s kid, the mall was a world of possibilities housing everything you could want, from the new Backstreet Boys album to the Game Boy you had been begging your mom for. If you aced your last report card or scored the winning goal, maybe you'd be treated at the end of the week with the Great American Cookie calling your name.

As millennials have grown up, Amazon has emerged, changing our relationship with the brick and mortar stores in our local malls. Though shopping centers aren’t thriving like they used to, mixed-used food, shopping and entertainment centers are. That's what we're seeing our malls transform into.

Dave & Buster’s, a restaurant and entertainment venue, plans to open in Chattanooga as part of a modern retail movement making malls cool again. Making its debut March 16, Dave & Buster’s will be located in Hamilton Place’s former Sears building.

“Whether you are looking for a place to have fun, bring your family or watch the big game, Dave & Buster’s has something for everyone,” General Manager Leslie Suarez says.  

The Dallas-based company sees the mall’s recent revitalization as an opportunity for them and the community. Bringing added fun to Hamilton Place, Dave & Buster’s will attract people who are looking for a unique destination for dates, birthdays, girls’ nights and other reasons to celebrate.

“Where else can you go watch a game, then go shopping afterward?” Suarez says. “Our new location is going to be a well-known destination in Chattanooga, and we are lucky to be a part of it.”

Within the 30,000-square-foot space, Dave & Buster’s will unveil a 40-foot WOW Wall covered in televisions playing every sports event imaginable. At the sports bar, fans can spend their evenings reveling in a hassle-free game-day experience with one-of-a-kind cocktails and chef-crafted dishes.

Along with food and fun, Dave & Buster’s will also be bringing many local jobs.  

“As much as we are a part of a big company, we are also a part of the community,” Suarez says. “We are going to be providing life-changing jobs to 240 team members in Chattanooga.”

According to Suarez, 35% of Dave & Buster’s hiring team members go on to become managers. In the Chattanooga location, four of the nine managers have come from other Dave & Buster’s hiring teams across the country. While employees may come for the fun high-energy setting, they stay because of the company’s core values, comprehensive benefits and growth opportunities.

“At Dave & Buster’s, we take pride in creating an energetic and engaging work environment for our employees to thrive on,” Suarez says. “We’re looking for passionate team members committed to providing customers a top-notch experience.”

Dave & Buster’s is an equal opportunity employer aiming to create a diverse work culture. As part of their “everybody is somebody” attitude, the company also sponsors the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality.

To apply, interested candidates can submit an online application here.