The first Dave & Buster's was opened in Dallas in 1982 by David Corriveau and James "Buster" Corley. In 1989, Edison Brothers Stores purchased a majority ownership in the restaurant to finance further expansion into other cities. Dave & Buster's was spun off from Edison Brothers, and went public with Andy Newman as chairman in 1995.
D&B acquired nine Jillian's locations after Jillian's filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in 2004. Seven of these Jillian's locations have been re-branded with the Dave & Buster's name, while two of them were closed following the acquisition. The company announced on December 8, 2005, that it would be acquired by private equity firm Wellspring Capital Management. On July 16, 2008, Dave & Buster's Holdings Inc, filed with the SEC to again become a publicly traded company. The company had set a date for the Initial public offering IPO of October 5, 2012. However, it pulled out right before it opened. In June 2010, Oak Hill Capital Partners, in partnership with the company's management team, completed its acquisition of Dave & Buster's from Wellspring Capital Management.
In October 2014, Dave & Buster's launched a second IPO, selling 5.88 million shares at an offering price range of $16–18. The offering raised $94 million, which will be used for debt repayments. Shares will be traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange using the symbol PLAY.
Items on the Dave & Buster's menu are offered from early lunch until late night and feature a wide variety of food. The selections include pastas, burgers, steaks, seafood, chicken and desserts. The menu is updated to reflect current trends and guest favorites. Some locations serve Sunday brunch. Buffets are available for special events and private parties. All D&Bs offer full bar service.
The entertainment attractions offer traditional and modern, high-tech games. The Dave & Buster's Power Card replaces traditional tokens and tickets, and is required to activate all the Midway games and can be reloaded for additional play. The Power Card enables customers to activate games more easily and encourages extended play of games to increase customer spending. By replacing most coin activations, the Power Card has reduced the technical difficulties and maintenance issues associated with coin activated equipment. ($1 can buy 4.8-6.0 chips) Every Wednesday, all games are half-priced.
Dave & Buster's is a corporate sponsor of the Ultimate Fighting Championship organization. There are screening rooms for every UFC pay-per-view and episode of The Ultimate Fighter. D&B also sponsors the charity Dave Bevans' Children in the fundraising event "D&B for DB's".
Prior sponsorships include a World Wrestling Entertainment match and a 2009 tour by the rock band Bowling for Soup. The WWE match took place on the July 20, 2009, edition of WWE Raw on the USA Network. It is believed to be the first match on any WWE program to have a specific sponsor associated with it.
Dave & Buster's also sponsors postgame reports of San Jose Sharks games.