So Radish, a vegan staple of Olde Town Arvada, will close its doors for the last time on Nov. 19 following mounting financial losses, owner Scott Spears said.
The restaurant will be replaced by Secret Level arcade — which has operated out of So Radish’s back room for years. Secret Level will expand to fill the whole retail space, which will retain the former restaurant’s bar and will serve a limited food menu.
Secret Level will open in late November, Spears said.
Spears added that So Radish had been losing money from the beginning, and it became time to transition the space.
“We just been losing money since we opened,” Spears said. “We have tried everything, and it just never made money. It takes a lot of people to make the food we’re making there. Everything was made from scratch, and we had a pretty big menu, and it was all vegan since COVID.”
Spears said the staff from So Radish will be able to keep their positions at Secret Level or work at his other Olde Town eatery, School House Kitchen and Libations.
Secret Level’s limited food menu will include ‘chicken chunks’ — boneless chicken nuggets — waffle fries, fried pickles and fried avocados.
Spears added that the community feedback from patrons has been overwhelmingly positive — especially from the local vegan community, which often touted the specialized restaurant.
“We’re getting amazing messages from people, like really heartfelt ones,” Spears said. “I’ve had some people pull me aside and they’re obviously upset, but they’re very appreciative and they love everything. And we get it, we love the atmosphere there, we love the family, we love everything about it.”
When Secret Level opens, it will feature a selection of classic games including Mario Kart, Donkey Kong, PacMan, Pong and a wide selection of pinball terminals. Booths will be removed; tables will be moved to the center and games will run alongside the walls.
Spears said he hopes the arcade can become a family-friendly destination for lots of different kinds of patrons in Olde Town.
“At the arcade back there, non-vegan pinball heads came in to play,” Spears said. “So, hopefully, we’ll expand on that and just get other families and just people down there that were scared off by the vegan thing. And you don’t have to think about what you’re getting — the fried chicken chunks that are absolutely amazing. A handful of sauces, it’s just easy.”
Spears also mentioned that Super Zoom Bang Bang — the toy shop in Olde Town he also owns — will expand into the retail space next door to its current location, which was previously occupied by the Olde Town Flower shop. The expanded space will feature an arcade as well, but this one will be more geared towards children and young adults.
Super Zoom Bang Bang’s arcade is also expected to open in November, and Spears said that while currently, the arcades will use quarters for gaming access, a card system that could be shared across the two arcades might be implemented in the future.