Starport Arcade and Pub has had an eventful year. After a temporary pandemic-related closure and then taking on new business partners, the popular purveyor of food, drink and arcade fun reopened on Walnut Street in July 2022. Fans of all ages flocked to the multilevel paradise to indulge in games, food and events like 80s Disco Karaoke Night. Starport was named the 2023 Small Business of the Year this April by the Morgantown Area Partnership.
More changes are on the horizon as Starport’s leadership team has parted ways and will be forming two separate arcades. The 228 Walnut St. location is currently undergoing renovation and will open as Levels Arcade this summer. Social media posts point to many upgrades, such as using a card system instead of tokens to pay for arcade games. However, it sounds as if some favorite games will be returning.
Meanwhile, Starport will be moving “to the absolute largest place we could find downtown” and will open sometime this fall, according to a Facebook post made by Starport’s account. The contact information on Starport’s website indicates an 11,000-square-foot property on University Avenue, but surely they can’t fill up that whole space with arcade games — can they?
No matter the story behind the split, the two businesses have been professional regarding one another on social media. “Both of us have the same goal in mind,” said a post on Levels’ Facebook page. “To elevate downtown Morgantown and bring a new experience to people of all ages.”
I am encouraged that the two businesses intend to complement each other rather than compete.
I look forward to learning how Starport and Levels will differentiate. Morgantown had better be prepared to party because there will certainly be a lot of fun to go around.
EVA MURPHY is a freelance business writer for The Dominion Post. She writes a column on businesses, churches and other entities in the city. To suggest a topic, email her at Newsroom@DominionPost.com.