Friend$ Video Gaming Parlor

Friend$ Video Gaming Parlor Manager Angie Gifford and Owner Susan Courson pose in front of a chalkboard where patrons can post messages, which oftentimes take the form of quotes from the television show of the same name as the Monticello business.

It took the owners of Friend$ a good five years to get their video gaming establishment in Monticello open.

They weren’t about to let a pandemic shut them down for good.

COVID-19 shut us down from March 9 to July 1. Definitely not an easy time for anyone,” said business manager Angie Gifford, who runs the business for owner Susan Courson. “But we are surviving and doing our part to keep everyone safe and healthy while providing an avenue of entertainment. It has been so good to see familiar faces and welcome new patrons!”

The idea for the video gaming parlor reached the business plan stage in August of 2014, but obstacles put the plan on hold. Gifford said “the stars aligned” in December of 2018, a landing spot was procured in March of 2019, and the business opened on Aug. 22 of last year.

To celebrate its reopening and first anniversary, Friend$ is having daily drawings and giveaways, with a chance to win a 55-inch television, which will be given away at 8 p.m. this Friday (Sept. 4). Friend$ is open 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 1 to 8 p.m. Sundays.