The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

Local couple opens arcade downtown

By Ashleigh Prescott | Photography Editor

Thirty-four-year-old Joey Harper never really wanted to grow up. He tried his hand at various jobs and ended up owning a business that, to some, would seem a bit young at heart.

“I’ve always worked with kids and in the public,” Harper said. “I was a behavioral therapist for a long time, drove for Yellow Cab and was at ACS for a while.”

Now, Harper owns a fully loaded and equipped arcade and soda bar located at 158 Central Avenue in Coos Bay with his wife, Sarah Harper.

His inspiration came from his childhood memories at the local arcade.

“I grew up in Coos Bay. I loved video games and things like that,” Joey Harper said. “It was nice to have a place to hang out, and that’s what I am trying to do.”

For former Marshfield student Lindsay Otton, that is exactly what Joey’s Arcade is.

“I love it there. It’s a great place to hang out, and it stays open late,” Otton said. “I love Joey; he is a really great guy.”

For Joey’s wife and business partner, Sarah, it is the people and the business that she most enjoys.

“It’s been really fun,” Sarah said. “It’s been a lot of work, but I really enjoy the business aspect, and I really like getting to know the people who come in and the regulars.”

Joey believes their investment was one for the community.

“The community in general I thought would greatly benefit from a safe environment,” Joey said. “Arcades are going away, and we are trying to bring them back.”

According to Sarah, opening the business was not a spur of the moment idea. It has been a work in progress for quite some time.

“We have been working on this idea for about five years,” Sarah said. “At first, Joey needed to get me on board about spending the money and believing it was a viable business. After researching it a lot and taking a leap of faith, I was finally on board.”

The two have similar opinions about working alongside each other throughout the development of the business. Joey believes it has been a great experience.

“I think going into business with anyone you are close to has hidden rewards,” Joey said. “I feel blessed to have my business partner be my wife.”

For Sarah, she believes it to be a good situation as well, but also sees it as a learning experience.

“It has been really fun but challenging,” Sarah said. “We are both easygoing and will be married for 15 years in August. He likes to have fun a lot, but sometimes needs motivation in the business aspect.”

For their six-year old-daughter, Abby, this investment has been a fun-filled one.

“I like the soda. I like the claw machine and pool,” Abby said. “I like Batman pinball and [Dance Dance Revolution] and pretty much everything.”

Among the activities listed by Abby, there is a weekly Friday night tournament at 8 p.m. Joey is thrilled with how the new business has done and what it provides for the community.

“We are a safe, non-alcoholic, all-ages-welcome venue,” Joey said.

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Local couple opens arcade downtown