Dave & Busters has plans for Manchester

An architectural rendering of the Dave & Buster’s planned for the Mall of New Hampshire in Manchester. The company says the exterior decorations are important to attract customers to the windowless building, part of the former Sears store.

MANCHESTER — Dave & Buster’s plans to bring its fun and games for adults to the Mall of New Hampshire next year, and Dick’s Sporting Goods plans to land there late this year.

Dave & Buster’s wants permission to put up more signage than zoning allows, saying it’s needed “to create a sense of enthusiasm and excitement among patrons from the moment they approach the building.”

A mall spokesman on Monday confirmed the planned arrival of the two chains months after Mayor Joyce Craig announced the two chains would fill space left vacant when the Sears store closed last year.

The building’s owner, however, countered last December that the lease deals weren’t signed.

The Dave & Buster’s project is slated to come before the Zoning Board of Adjustment on Thursday evening at City Hall.

Dave & Buster’s, which offers food, beverages and games of skill, wants permission to exceed the allowable coverage of signs on its southerly wall and to erect seven building signs, one more than permitted by zoning regulations.

“This type of business is an interior amusement facility, and the existing building lacks windows or the like to attract patrons,” reads the chain’s application for a variance.

“Instead it relies upon visuals, similar to a movie theatre, as a means to enhance the customer experience,” the application said.

According to plans filed with the city, the restaurant would occupy 35,137 square feet while Dick’s would occupy 44,995 square feet.

Representatives from neither chain responded to emails seeking comment.

Seritage Growth Properties owns the former Sears stores in Manchester, Salem and Newington. Last December, an official at Seritage said no lease deal had been signed for the Manchester location. Seritage representatives didn’t respond to emails on Monday.

A Manchester attorney representing Dave & Busters in the ZBA case, Roy Tilsley Jr., declined comment.

Dave & Buster’s operates in about 40 states. It has locations in Woburn and Braintree, Mass., with one coming to Natick, Mass. It lists no New Hampshire locations open or coming soon.

Before Sears filed for bankruptcy last year, Dick’s Sporting Goods had leased a portion of the Sears store at the Mall at Rockingham Park in Salem.

The Manchester mall also will welcome Cycle Gear, which sells equipment for motorcyclists, this summer.

Glass Street Tattoo and Vans opened in the mall in March.

mcousineau@unionleader.com