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Dave & Buster's Co-Founder Dave Corriveau Passed Away at 63

Dave Corriveau, Co-Founder of Dave & Buster's, Passed Away at the age of 63
Dave Corriveau, Co-Founder of Dave & Buster's, Passed Away at the age of 63
David Corriveau, co-founder of the Dave and Buster’s chain, has passed away this last Saturday at the age of 63, in Dallas, US. The cause of death has not been reported yet.

Corriveau founded the Dave & Buster’s with James Corley in 1982 and only stepped down as president and a director in 2007, when the company was acquired by Wellspring Capital Management.

According to Fox News, in a statement, Dave and Buster’s said: “We are deeply saddened to learn of Dave Corriveau’s passing. As a co-founder of Dave & Buster’s, he was a true innovator in the world of restaurant entertainment and will be greatly missed. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family at this difficult time.”

Replay Magazine gives a great rendition of the story of Dave's role in the founding of Dave & Buster's:

Dave was always been an adventurous soul, starting as far back as 1972 when, at the tender age of 21, he struck out from his hometown of Little Rock, Ark., to Las Vegas in a quest to earn enough money dealing blackjack to open what he envisioned as a re-invention of the Great American Pub. After returning to Little Rock nine months later and losing what little nest egg he had saved in an epic poker game, Dave took a day job selling Chevys while waiting tables at night to generate the much-needed seed money for his new venture.

In 1975, Dave opened his first establishment, Cash McCool's Saloon & Game Parlor, in a former 2,500-square-foot Pizza Inn, which he promptly sold for a profit the following year. In 1976, Dave opened Slick Willy's World of Entertainment in the former boiler room of the Missouri Pacific train station in Little Rock. The 10,000-square-foot location combined pocket billiards, shuffleboard, newfangled arcade games, big-screen TVs and, for a while, a nine-hole indoor miniature golf course. Refreshments were simple: cold beer, hot dogs and free popcorn.

In due course, Dave partnered with another local character, Buster Corley, the popular general manager of TGI Friday's near the state capitol. Politicos (including Governor Bill Clinton) frequented Friday's, as did media types and lots of attractive women, according to Dave. Thus, Buster was a popular man with all the right people in Little Rock. So he too decided to strike out on his own.

In fall of 1978, Buster, with Dave as his investor, launched Buster's Restaurant in that same train station next-door to Slick Willy's. The combination quickly created overflow traffic benefitting both establishments. The rest, as they say, is history.

In 1982, Dave and Buster opened their first D&B restaurant/entertainment facility in a 30,000-square-foot warehouse located in Dallas. The two co-founders helped grow the chain into an American icon with 50 stores and nearly $500 million in annual sales before selling their interests in 2007 as part of a successful going private transaction with New York-based private equity firm.

Today, the company operates 73 venues across the US and Canada.

In an interview published in the current issue of RePlay, Corriveau spoke about his latest project and a plan to re-invent the FEC yet again. He admitted that the 25-year process of growing Dave & Buster's led to a certain amount of burnout: "After exiting, I spent a few years clearing my head, but before long new ideas began to emerge," said Dave.

We here at Highway Games send our thoughts and prayers to the friends, families, and colleagues affected by the passing of Dave Corriveau. It truly is a tragic loss. May he rest in peace.


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