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Jan 15

East Virginia Street: McKinney’s New Happenin’ Spot for Nightlife

Posted on January 15, 2020 at 11:42 AM by Beth Shumate

mural at nightThere’s a new spot for fun nightlife in downtown McKinney – East Virginia, between Highway 5/McDonald and Chestnut Street. And it’s even got its own parking garage!

There have always been fun things to do on that end of Virginia branching east from the downtown square – a comedy club, sports bar, comic book shop, and cigar bar. But it was the opening of a throwback video arcade that helped pull it all together. And now that corner of downtown McKinney is hopping!

Arcade 92
305 W. Virginia Inside Arcade 92
Arcade 92 opened last month and has been drawing people of all ages daily since its first day. Featuring video arcade games dating back to the 1970s, it has a little something for everyone. Those who entered their teen years in the 1970s and 1980s will be thrilled to find the likes of Pac Mac and Ms. Pac Man, Centipede, Galaga, Joust, Tempest, Defender, Frogger, and more. As you work your way farther into the arcade, you’ll find the games get newer, including Guitar Hero, some of the two player shooting games, and even chairs where you can enjoy old style Nintendo and other console type games. 

seating area in Arcade 92The third section of the arcade includes pinball, a 10-player game, and a wall (complete with comfy chairs) of e-games the younger set is more accustomed to. And of course, there's an area of tables for those wanting to take a break from playing to visit with friends while enjoying a drink or a bite to eat. 

TIP: Unlike the arcades of old, food and drinks (including adult beverages) are available for order from the Arcade 92 menu or a menu provided by Foxii’s Sports Grill next door!

pinball gamesThe beauty of Arcade 92, unlike those old gaming days when you needed a pocket full of quarters to have fun, costs $12 to enter, and all games are set to free play for one or multiple players. After 9 p.m., only folks 21 and older are allowed to stay, and any time of day, kids 15 and younger must have an adult with them. 

Hours: Arcade 92 opens at 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. During the week, the arcade is open until 11 p.m., but on the weekends, the fun continues until 1 a.m. on Friday and 2 a.m. on Saturday. 

inside carpe diem table Carpe Diem Comics
101 N. McDonald St., Suite 110
Don't let the address fool you. Technically part of the small hopping complex facing McDonald St. (Highway 5) between Louisiana and Virginia streets, Carpe Diem fronts Virginia and is right across the street from Arcade 92. Owners Shado and Lys turned their dream for more than 20 years into a reality. Offering a world of comic and gaming fun for all ages, this shop is the perfect complement to its neighbors at Arcade 92. 

Not your stereotypical comic book store, Carpe Diem is open and well-lighted, with a huge selection of comic books, board games, tabletop role-playing games, gaming supplies (minis, paints, and more), manga, and much more. As they say on their TripAdvisor blurb, “Everyone should feel free to seize their Inner Geek, and we strive to make that happen.”

table in carpe diemTIPS:
  • Carpe Diem is not only a spot where parents can feel comfortable having their kids come in with their friends, it is also a licensed Safe Place site. pancake dog
  • The shop has a very active social media presence (watch their Facebook and Instagram accounts to keep up with new arrivals and other fun) and offer a wider variety of events that can be found on their website calendar. (Carpe Diem photos shown here are from their Facebook page.)

Hours: The shop extended its hours after Arcade 92 opened, now staying open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, and 9 p.m. the rest of the week. The shop opens at 11 a.m. every day. Make sure to say hello to shop dog Pancake when you visit.

comedy area crowd The Comedy Arena
305 E. Virginia #104
This fun improv club is approaching the end of its third year in downtown McKinney. Opened in early 2017, The Comedy Arena was the first of East Virginia Street's nightspots to open, even pre-dating the Chestnut Commons parking garage which opened just behind it in February 2019. Offering two shows on both Friday and Saturday nights, the early show  offers fast clean improv comedy, a competition between two teams. The later show is adults only with hysterical comics providing the laughs in a more R-rated show. 

In great news just released yesterday, The Comedy Arena will be doubling in size by Summer 2020. According to Community Impact News, the stage and box office, in addition to two new restrooms, will be located upstairs. Downstairs renovations will include a bar, lounge area and cafe on the first floor, a change prompted by guests' requests to have food and drinks at the venue. 

TIP: When not open for comedy shows, The Comedy Arena offers classes in comedy and improv for adults and kids as well as team-building opportunities for groups from 10 to 300, with various offerings based on group size.

Hours: Thursday-Friday, 7-11 p.m.  Additional hours based on classes and other events.    

Foxiis Sports Grill
301 E Virginia St #103
In addition to the three fun spots discussed above, Foxiis Sports Grill is the go-to place for dinner on East Virginia Street. The restaurant is split into two halves, one side being the bar and several tall tables and wall-mounted TVs offering plenty of sports watching. The other side provides for casual dining with friends, family, or a fun date night before hitting the arcade, comedy club, or comic book shop!

Hours: Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-1o p.m., Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-midnight, and Sunday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

El Fuego Tobacco Shop
301 E Virginia St #101
En Fuego Tobacco Shop is a premium cigar retailer, offering top quality brands as well as a relaxing lounge for its patrons.  Coming up on its one year anniversary in downtown McKinney, the cigar shop and lounge is located on the corner of Virginia and Chestnut Streets, just south of the entrance to the parking garage. 

Hours: Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m .-10 p.m., Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m .-11 p.m., and Sunday, 1-9 p.m.