A man with a dream to start a new business but was not able to due to financial reasons ended up with an even better idea.

Daniel Kelley sadly had to say goodbye to his original plan of an ax-throwing location in downtown Bloomington. After looking at the upgrades, it was just too much financially.

“We didn’t want to fail and just walk away and say, ‘Oh well we tried.’ We really wanted to bring something awesome to the community,” Kelley said.

He decided to create The Backyard Social. It will take the place of the Alexander Lumber building at 1707 E. Hamilton Rd. and have indoor games and nine lanes for different yard games. Guests will be able to come in to pay for an hour and a half of lanes. After, they can pick to change lanes or just play that one game the whole time.

Some of the games that will be there are: cornhole, 10 Pin Pigskin, Scrabble, custom battleship, Skee-Ball, yard games, darts, giant Jenga, horses and more.

Before starting to create, Kelley’s team looked at a lot of business models and looked at the community.

“We didn’t want to become the novelty, so we quickly realized we needed to make multiple great things, so that’s where we came up with the arena idea, the arcade and backyard games," Kelley said.

None of the games are set to be there permanently since Kelley wants to be able to change the games according to popularity.

“The awesome thing of this is that it’s very family friendly; it’s all ages so its young and old and everybody in between,” Kelley said.

They will provide pizza and chips, but the main plan is to have food trucks. The plan is to start building in March and have a big opening May, right before graduation.

“Our whole goal was to bring something to the community that they can take on for their own. Our whole thought process is backyard social,” Kelley said.

KARINA LOPEZ is a News Reporter for The Vidette. She can be contacted at klopez6@ilstu.edu Follow her on Twitter at  @klopez_02


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