The recent transformation of Mama & Me Pizzeria's arcade game room to a video gambling parlor has some patrons ruffled. Take H-F Patch Facebook reader Laurie S., for example.
"I was kind of disappointed to hear that Mama and Me took out their kids games and now have video gambling in that room. To me I consider this more of a family restaurant and it seems like food places are trying to phase out bringing children to their restaurants."
Good news for the kids: The Mama & Me arcade room is only taking a temporary leave of absence. Owner Kim Phillipos says she plans on moving an office out of the building and repurposing the room as a new arcade.
It's a lot of effort for something that's generating almost nothing in profits, though. With the onset of mobile gaming in recent years, hardly anybody plays the arcade games, according to Phillipos.
And that's what set the stage for the video gambling.
Phillipos says the decision was entirely financial. By next week, the gambling parlor will be closed off from the rest of the restaurant.
"(Mama & Me) is still a family friendly restaurant," Phillipos said. "Like all businesses, we're just trying to survive the economy."
Mama & Me Pizza is now one of three locations in Homewood to offer video gambling—the other two are the Tin Ceiling Tavern and The Ridgewood Tap.