Free Play Denton

People play vintage arcade games at Free Play Denton in 2018. The arcade closed its location at 505 W. Hickory St. last summer, but now plans to reopen in a building on the Square. 

Free Play’s Denton arcade and bar will be reopening in the old Abbey Inn building as the company’s largest location to date, according to an announcement from Free Play Inc. CEO Corey Hyden.

Hyden announced plans for the arcade’s return to Denton on Saturday afternoon, stating the Dallas-Fort Worth company has purchased 101 W. Hickory St. on the Square and will use it to house over 100 arcade games, more than 20 pinball machines, two bars and a kitchen.

Free Play closed at its previous Denton location, 505 W. Hickory St., in July, citing landlord negotiations and the COVID-19 pandemic.

101 W. Hickory was the site of the Abbey Inn for 10 years and the short-lived Lion & Crown Public House, which closed in late 2019.

The new arcade will be next door to More Fun Comics and Games, although Hyden said the reopening process will take months.

“We have no good guess on an opening timeline yet,” Hyden wrote in the announcement. “Things are moving faster than I ever could have guessed. … The answer is ASAP but it’s going to take some time (months — plural and in unknown quantity at this time).”

Hyden added that more announcements on Free Play’s return will come later.

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