Insert Coin: Centralia arcade and bar opening second location in Olympia

Following first location’s success, owners approved to franchise business


Whether you’re an older gamer looking to grab a few pints of beer and play classic arcade video games or a young gamer looking for modern games and a hot, fresh slice of pizza, Insert Coin Centralia has something to offer you.

Originally opened in June 2021 in the downtown area, Insert Coin Centralia — a combination bar and arcade — is preparing to open a second location in Olympia this year, said owners Keli and Daniel Coleman, of Lacey.

The couple is currently converting a space that used to be the Crunch Fitness gym in the Olympic Square shopping center just off Interstate 5 Exit 107. Once completed, Insert Coin Olympia will be located at 3430 Pacific Ave. SE.

Keli and Daniel met with The Chronicle on Tuesday, Feb. 13, to talk about their plans for the new location after Insert Coin Centralia’s first three successful years in business. Since they opened right toward the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, customers have flocked to the new business in droves and haven’t stopped since.

Daniel said they did have some issues in their first few years, such as working out consistency with food coming out of the kitchen, but things are now running smoothly and they are ready to open a second location.

“We don’t have a set open date, but we’re shooting for the end of summer,” Daniel said.

“Or early fall,” Keli added. “There’s a lot of stuff out of our control.”

They chose the new location due to its large size, but as it used to be a gym, a lot of modifications need to be made, including constructing an entirely new commercial kitchen and bar.

“We’re going to still try to keep that same vibe, that 80s or 90s retro feel where you see the old boombox on the wall, things like that,” Daniel said.

Like the Centralia location, Insert Coin Olympia will feature a self-pour beer wall, free-play retro arcade video games and pinball machines, along with modern arcade and prize games.

Classic video games will also be playable at certain tables with modern mini consoles containing retro Nintendo, SEGA and Sony Playstation games.

“We’re actually gonna have some of the original consoles in some of the spots,” Daniel added.

Ax throwing lanes will be included for those who want a break from video games. Pinball tournaments will also be hosted at the new location.

Its menu will feature the same pizzas, stuffed burgers, sandwiches and other items available at Insert Coin Centralia.

Keli said the new location will have an arcade, bar and dining room, which will be three times bigger than the Centralia location. It will also have three rentable party rooms instead of one.

“We did this intentionally because of how busy we get. We get packed and can’t fit any more customers,” Keli said.

She said they spent more than a year and a half searching for a location large enough and were working with the Port of Olympia to find a spot, though they ended up finding the new location on their own.

“The port wanted us to build our own city road,” Daniel said.

Opening a new restaurant and bar is never a cheap endeavor, and it is even more expensive if you add in an arcade on top of those expenses. So paying for the construction of an entire new road as well wasn’t doable.

“We have a great relationship with them and still talk to them, but we just couldn’t afford that,” Daniel said.

“The road would have cost more than the whole business venture,” Keli added.

She said each arcade machine costs $15,000 on average, with some costing well more than twice the average. The Fast and the Furious racing arcade machine currently at Insert Coin Centralia cost $52,000.

“And we only got two seats in that machine,” Keli said. “At the Olympia location, we’re probably going to have four seats, so at least $100,000.”

Insert Coin Centralia has a robot server that brings customers food. Insert Coin Olympia will be the first bar on the West Coast to have a Makr Shakr bartending robot, the Colemans said.

Makr Shakr currently has two robotic bartenders in Las Vegas, according to its website, along with one at the Hard Rock Café in Biloxi, Mississippi, and two others coming to locations in Dallas, Texas and Atlanta, Georgia. Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines also uses Makr Shakr robots on nine ships in its fleet.

“We still will have a regular bartender as well, to make drinks the robot can’t and to make sure some kid isn’t just walking up and grabbing a cocktail,” Daniel said.

The bar at Insert Coin Olympia will be much more isolated than the bar at Insert Coin Centralia, to help keep kids from wandering in.

Daniel added the Washington state Department of Financial Institutions has granted franchising rights to Insert Coin.

“It may not ever go anywhere, but we’ve had people reach out to us from different parts of the state and other states because they visited us and just thought it was unique,” Daniel said.

While the Colemans can sell franchises already, they want to establish Insert Coin Olympia first to show it can be as successful as Insert Coin Centralia. This way, those interested in purchasing a franchise can see it’s a viable business despite the exorbitant costs of arcade machines.

Arcade machine leasing companies are also available for those who aren’t able to afford purchasing them, Daniel added.

Anyone interested in purchasing an Insert Coin franchise can email the Colemans at for more information.

Originally from Idaho, Keli and her family moved to Washington when she was in the eighth grade.

Daniel was raised in Ohio and came to Washington after joining the U.S. Air Force and being stationed at Joint Base Lewis McChord until 2007 when he was honorably discharged.

The couple met while both working for Thurston County and married three years prior to opening Insert Coin Centralia. As parents of five children of various ages, they wanted to create an entertainment center for those of all ages combined with retro video games, which both Keli and Daniel enjoy.

Insert Coin’s concept was born after the couple visited a similar business called the Quarters Arcade Bar on a trip to Salt Lake City, Utah.

Insert Coin Centralia is located at 309 N. Tower Ave. in downtown Centralia. It is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday.

For more information, including the full menu, visit

To get updates on Insert Coin Olympia’s progress, follow its new Facebook page at