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Most entertainment venues have one token predicament: compromise. If their cocktails are delicious, the amusements are too expensive… if the space itself is posh, you can expect the food menu to lack inspiration. Luckily, the concept of “compromise” was never part of the plan at Decades–Lancaster’s first ever boutique bowling alley, retro arcade, full restaurant and bar. And the only “tokens” they lay claim to are the bronze coins they distribute in dixie cups for guests hankering for a skee ball high score.
Indeed, not a single stylish inch of Decades 15,000 square feet has been unthought of; from its classic yet imaginative cocktail list (created by Kolbe Digiulio), to its Southern-inspired food menu with a plant-based edge (championed by Chef Lauren Straub), the space is an invigorating twist of old and new–of sophistication and comfort. Even the lavish 1920’s art-deco chandeliers somehow fittingly contrast against the dozens of retro arcade games below. It somehow all makes sense, this timeless nostalgia… it evokes a feeling of vague familiarity that you can’t quite pin down.
Decades first opened its doors on Queen Street in 2019 when the power-trio behind Joycat Events (responsible for the now annual Lancaster Craft Beer Festival) had an idea. Lancaster locals Christopher Trendler, Adam Ozimek, and Jonathan Yeager wanted to infuse their quality time together with something adults usually find elusive: fun. That’s when they decided to join forces with Mike Callahan from Benchmark Construction and his daughter Bri Callahan to make it all happen.
“We were looking to create something for people to do together,” Says Jonathan. “Especially when you have a large group of friends, right? You either have to go to someone's house, or a crowded bar. In Decades, you can have your own full experienced party”
During their tireless search for large properties–which included 9 tours and a potential agreement that fell through–Adam stumbled across the old Stahr Armory building, which had been vacant for years. It was perfect for incorporating every last feature they had envisioned for Decades. Most importantly, it had the space.
A little more than a year later (in a landscape they could’ve never predicted), this space means something even more significant.
The ability to safely gather either casually or for an organized event has become a priceless gift… without a doubt, the space at Decades offers us the opportunity to enjoy our time together, something that hasn’t always been a guarantee over the past year.
What’s more, the word “compromise” is still banished from Decades’s vocabulary. Though so much has changed, this swanky spot still promises amusements and fare that consistently deliver excellence. It’s an act of service that means so much more now than it ever has.