Amusement Devices Inc. has been in business for over forty years. It was started by Gordon and Marjorie Jacobson in 1964 with a game room in Kaukauna. The pool hall on the north side of Kaukauna called the Side Pocket was open until the late 60’s, when it burned down.
A new game room was built after the fire. It was called the Phoenix, the bird that rose from the ashes. In a few years, the game room became a supper club and then became a tavern called Little Joe’s, which was ran by Joe Jacobson.
A number of years later, Eric Jacobson took over and it was renamed the Phoenix. Besides running the game room and bar, Gordon and Marjorie started a business that provided pool tables, jukeboxes, and pinball games to local businesses. Gordon and Marjorie also owned a restaurant in Kaukauna on the south side called the Iron Horse which had a game room attached to it called the Caboose. Kurt Jacobson ran the restaurant once he graduated in 1974. After closing the restaurant in the late 70’s, the building was used for a warehouse and a shop area for the game business.
Growth into Retail
The game route began to grow with the addition of dart boards and the video game boom. During this time Gordon, Marjorie, and Eric Jacobson were mainly running the business. In 1979, Eric’s brother Kurt joined the business. Joe Jacobson followed suit. Amusement Devices and the growing business moved to their present location on Appleton Rd, in Menasha, in 1988.
In 2009, we added a retail store named Straight Shot that is located next to our building on Appleton Road. Today Amusement Devices offers Foosball, Pool Tables, Dart Boards, Video Games, ATM’s, Electronic Poker Machines, Pull Tab Machines, a wide variety of self-redemption Games (Plush Animal Cranes, Candy Cranes, Stackers, Key Masters…) Pinball, and Digital Jukeboxes on a commission basis.