Find an escape in Cockatoo

The Griffiths family have been working hard to create the arcade.

By Shelby Brooks

A splash of colour and fun is coming to Cockatoo, with works on an indoor entertainment venue underway.

Plans awaiting approval from Cardinia Shire Council reveal ‘Griff’s Place’, located at 56-60 McBride Street, will offer an outdoor mini golf course, while the existing house will be turned into an arcade with two escape rooms.

Emerald husband and wife duo Jason and Sam Griffiths are behind the idea and have been working on the renovations to the 1940s home during lockdown.

They will begin work on the mini golf course and landscaping once the plans are approved by the council.

“Cockatoo is crying out for something like this,“ Jason said.

“I’ve been collecting old computers and arcade machines for a fair while.

“I thought I’d rather share it with the community.“

Jason and Sam are previous residents of Cockatoo and feel it’s the perfect addition to the town.

“When you look at the main street, there are a lot of vacant shops,“ Jason said.

“We didn’t want to be another food place, we wanted to bring life back into the centre of Cockatoo with a designated place people can come to have family oriented fun.“

Sam and Jason are designing an escape room each after visiting facilities across the state for inspiration.

“Sam was the director of ’Murder on Puffying Billy’ and involved with Gemco Players, so she’s using those theatre skills to bring a story line to the escape rooms to add to the experience,“ Jason said.

“They’re lots out there that are expensive but not that interesting. We want ours to be entry level and affordable but with an engaging story.“

An eight space car park will be built at the rear of the property, with access from Fairbridge Lane.

Sam and Jason have been documenting their renovation journey on YouTube, showing the installation of various arcade machines as well as DIY carpet, floorboards and painting jobs.

Their two daughters are also loving being involved in the build and design.

The responsible authority will not decide on the application before 12 November.

To follow their journey, head to @GriffsAmusements on Facebook and Griff’s Place on YouTube.