Nitro Zone family entertainment center opens in Dowagiac

Published 8:45 pm Wednesday, December 20, 2023

DOWAGIAC — A family entertainment center that will provide several forms of entertainment for people of all ages throughout Michiana is open for business

The Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon-tying ceremony for Nitro Zone, 56419 Pokagon St., as it opened its doors to the public Wednesday evening as the first business of its kind in southwest Michigan. The amusement center, owned by the Singh family, will be open from 1 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 1 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday with plans to expand hours during the summer months.

The 35,494 square-foot building formerly home to Shopko features a 10-lane bowling alley, arcade games, a two-level laser tag area, axe throwing, an indoor roller coaster, a restaurant/bar, birthday party rooms, a small event venue and more.

While this entertainment center is a new venture for ownership, developer and CEO John Tiffany said the group has been preparing for the opportunity for a while.

“It’s exciting,” Tiffany said. “It’s been a dream for a while. We’ve been studying the family fun industry for a while and studying the demographics trying to figure out the right market for a business like this and we feel like we found the right home for it. Hopefully, this is the first of many.”

The building City Manager Kevin Anderson was on hand for the occasion and is happy to see the facility become an entertainment destination not only for Dowagiac residents, but the greater Michiana area as well.

“It’s brimming with life and that’s really what this business park was all about and when Shopko left, we couldn’t have asked for anything better to be stepping into this place,” said City Manager Kevin Anderson. “People in this community have been really yearning for some sort of good family activity and what’s more family activity than an amusement center – bowling alleys, games and food. This is an incredible gathering spot, we’re very thankful for the investment the Singh family has made and we are really looking forward to a successful partnership.”

According to Tiffany, the business expects to open its kitchen in the coming weeks and is in the process of securing a liquor license for its bar. He said the interest from the community for its services has been positive and that the space is open to rent for parties, events and gatherings.

“We’ve already had a lot of people call about birthday parties, lock-ins, church events and we’re open to all that,” We want to be here for the community for the long run. Once our kitchen opens up, we want to be able to have larger events and Christmas parties and corporate events.

“We’re trying to be a good bar and restaurant, a place people want to come to for lunch and for dinner. It’s not just a destination to come eat while you watch your kids play. We want to have good beer and we want to have good food.”