New in town
|By Allison M. Berryman|
Despite competition from popular billiard destinations, downtown East Lansing’s new gaming lounge, Heart Beats, brings a different kind of culture to the city’s entertainment district.
Heart Beats, which officially opened on Dec. 1, is a Chinese gaming lounge that features seven pool tables, five karaoke rooms and nine rooms used for playing popular Chinese table games such as mahjong.
The business was put together by Triple T Entertainment, a company made up of student investors that specifically market their projects toward East Lansing’s large Chinese student population. Heart Beats is Triple T’s first project.It began as an idea for a small, table game venue.
“At first, we just wanted to open a table game area with some new, non-traditional Chinese games and cards,” said Brian Yu, CFO of Triple T Entertainment. “When we moved to a larger space, we decided to add more stuff like the karaoke, mahjong and table pool. We wanted to offer our customers more.”
Although Heart Beats is located in close proximity to East Lansing’s other billiard and game lounges, Yu says he´s not threatened by the competition. He is confident that his business´ focus on the Chinese student population will attract as many billiard enthusiasts to Heart Beats as places such as Pinball Pete’s, Harpers and the Union’s UCue.
“We have more to offer our customers,” Yu said. “If someone is waiting to use one of the karaoke rooms, for example, they can play table pool or use one of the mahjong rooms. They never have to just wait around for a room to open. There is always something to do while they wait. "
Business for Heart Beats has been strong since its December debut, so Triple T Entertainment has expansion plans in the works for the billiard lounge. Besides eventually focusing their marketing toward the Lansing locals, Yu hopes to add additional services to the business and even hinted at opening another Heart Beats location.
“We are currently trying to get a license to serve food and drinks, so eventually we can serve drinks like bubble tea," he said. "We are also trying to open another project just like Heart Beats at another university, possibly turning it into a franchise.”
301 M.A.C. Ave., East Lansing
5 p.m.- close Sunday-Thursday
3 p.m.-3 a.m. Friday and Saturday
* Heart Beats does not have a specific closing time during the week.