When was the last time you did something extraordinarily nice for someone without expecting anything in return? If your name is Shea Mathis, Bo Counts, or Terry Thielen of Fayetteville, it was earlier this week.
That’s when Mathis, who owns local video gamer’s haven Arkadia Retrocade, delivered a vintage Burgertime arcade console that he had restored and rebranded with Counts’ and Thielen’s help to the folks at Hammontree’s Grilled Cheese.
The reason? Mathis came across an extra console, thought of the idea, and thought that Hammontree’s owners Chad and Alison – and their customers – would enjoy it.
Chad, who knew Mathis from visiting the arcade, and from Mathis’ visits to the restaurant, said he was out running errands when his wife Alison called him and told him he needed to come back ASAP.
When he arrived, Mathis was at the restaurant with photos of the completely restored, and rebranded arcade game that he had customized for the restaurant.
“We take our kids to Arkadia all the time,” Chad said. “We’re big fans of his place, and I think he’s a fan of our food, but we had no idea he was going to do that. It was a total surprise.”
Mathis found the console, Arkadia mechanic Bo Counts restored the game, and the entire exterior of the console was painted by local artist and comic book publisher Terry N. Thielen.
Thielen replaced the “Burgertime” header on the console with one that read “Hammontree’s,” and replaced Peter Pepper (the game’s main character) holding a burger with “Hammy-Tree,” holding a grilled cheese sandwich.
He also customized the lower panel of the console as a giant block of swiss cheese with a womp rat from Star Wars peering out of one of the holes.
On the side of the console, Thielen painted Admiral Ackbar, another Star Wars character that Hammontree’s has a velvet painting of hanging on the wall in the restaurant.
The Hammontree’s installed the console in the front corner of the restaurant, where Chad said it will stay as long as Fayetteville residents have a taste for Hammontree’s grilled cheese sandwiches. It’s totally free to play.
Chad said he couldn’t be happier with how it looks in the restaurant.
“We just think it’s awesome,” he said. “And the fact that he just brought it by, just as a gift, we were just blown away.”