Even a worldwide pandemic couldn’t stop Ryan’s, the regional amusement center company, from making future plans.
“For everyone it was really tough,” agreed Director of Operations Zach McCaul about 2020 and 2021. “Luckily, for us we were able to utilize PPP loans and government grants and we were able to survive. We have come through the pandemic in good shape.”
McCaul is particularly excited about the future of the 65-year-old business that will open its largest location at Hanover Crossing later this month. The 42,000-square-foot space will cover two stories and feature 16, 10-pin bowling lanes, laser tag, axe throwing, a state-of-the art arcade with more than 90 games and a bar and restaurant. The space also includes an VIP lounge with a private bar, and a second story mezzanine, both of which will provide ample options for parties and functions.
Since its humble beginnings as an eight-lane bowling alley in the basement of a Post Office in Needham, opened by James A. Ryan (who is still involved with the company), Ryan’s has evolved to reflect the ever-changing amusement interests of its multi-generational clientele, without turning its back on its roots. It appeals to couples and families of all ages who can enjoy arcade, video and skill games as well as bowling and even axe throwing.
“I find it very interesting and appealing, the juxtaposition of bowling alleys, that have traditionally appealed to our older audience, with Virtual Reality games,” noted Liam Quilty-Dunn, who was recently hired as General Manager for the Hanover Ryan’s. Quilty-Dunn comes to Ryan’s from G Hospitality Group, where he served as General Manager for the company’s portfolio of restaurants across Rhode Island and Massachusetts. “I’m so excited to be a part of this.”
“Liam is a seasoned pro in the hospitality industry with experience running high-volume, fast-paced venues,” added McCaul. “He’s passionate about creating a first-class experience and we’re thrilled to have him leading our team in Hanover.”
With the management team in place, the company is now hiring for the 150 positions needed for the Hanover facility.
The demographics of the South Shore were closely looked at as plans for Ryan’s at Hanover Crossing took shape, a strategy the company has employed before opening its locations, whether it’s a bowling center or a game room. The focus has been on creating venues that promote social experiences for all ages. Some of the larger venues, like Cape Cod Mall, offer dining. Axe-throwing is one of the newer features at some locations. The most popular games are the prize games that produce instant winners.
Speaking of games, the company makes sure it stays current with the latest trends by attending large international trade shows.
“You can buy everything from a Tootsie Roll to a roller coaster there,” said McCaul with a laugh.