SCHERERVILLE | From go-karts and mini golf to laser tag and private party rooms, Jak's Warehouse offers indoor fun for all ages.
The recently opened 60,000-square-foot recreation center at 221 U.S. 41, features new and traditional interactive fun.
Jak's has glow in the dark bumper cars, 40-plus arcade games with a redemption center, a laser maze, black light urban mini-golf with a mural of Whiting and the BP refinery, an indoor playground, Ballocity and a sky trail course.
The interactive laser maze uses a series of lasers, mirrors and special effects to deceive players as they wind their way through it. Ballocity is a four-story climbing environment featuring a series of tubes, slides, foam ball launchers and multi-level platforms. The four-story sky trail climbing and rope course allows guests to swing through the air for a birds-eye view of Jak’s.
Six themed party rooms of varying sizes with total seating capacity of 200 are designed to appear as loading docks.
The full-service menu includes everything from beverages, salads, snacks and ice cream to pizza, hot dogs, sandwiches and wings.
On a recent weekday evening, Amy Thomas and her daughter tried the laser tag.
“It was really cool and they have a lot of cool graphics,” Thomas said. “I was pretty impressed by it. It was easy for her to play and she is only 7.”
Manager Lisa Carpenter said business has been brisk.
“It has been very exciting over the holiday,” Carpenter said. “We had a lot of families come to Jak's for the first time and we have had a lot of good feedback. People are saying Northwest Indiana needed something like this.”
Jak's was custom designed and built by Mixdesign Inc., Van Ryn Architects and Allied Contractors.
Michaline Tomich, owner of Mixdesign, said the owners liked the warehouse concept because of the energy associated with the idea, “truckloads of fun, being packed with things to do and loading up on fun.”
“It lent itself to the blue collar feel of our area,” Tomich said. “That is why we named the food area Forklift Operators’ Union. We brought hardhats into play. The workers have the safety vests. All the aspects of working hard and playing hard came together.”
Tomich said many repurposed items from the real factory world were used in decorating Jak's.
“It was fun being able to come up with a concept and bring the entire thing to life,” Tomich said.
The company leased a 60,000-square-foot space connected to Franciscan Omni Health & Fitness. Blade 'n Skate, which closed in 2009, was the last occupant of the facility the regional hospital operator Franciscan Alliance Inc. owns.