Joker’s, a family amusement center in Westbrook, is closing permanently after 27 years of operation.

Company President Jim Grattelo said in a news release that it wouldn’t be possible for the business to follow strict state reopening guidelines intended to limit the spread of coronavirus.

“It is impossible to run a business designed for 350 people, limit it to under 50, effectively running at 16.5 percent of operation, and then try to space out 70 arcade games and move all seating six feet apart,” Grattelo said. “This decision didn’t come lightly as we spent days trying various layouts.”

He criticized the strict nature of the reopening plan and said Maine businesses should be given more flexibility to come up with their own plans for safe operation during the pandemic.

Grattelo said he is proud that the business built such a strong reputation over its nearly three decades. He estimated that Joker’s has hosted 1.5 million children and 250,000 birthday parties over its lifespan.

The business also has provided an estimated 1,000 first jobs to teenagers in Maine, Grattelo said.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.