Food

"#1 Martian" sub pictured is made with provolone, ham, Capicola and prosciutto. Mars Pub and Laser Tag, 239 W. University Ave., recently began serving food.

Sean Rozycki, Alligator

Tag, you're it! Mars Pub and Laser Tag is the spot for laser tag in Gainesville. With a 3,000-square-foot arena for tag, a variety of beer on tap and the recent addition of subs to its menu, this pub has got it all.

Located at 239 W University Ave., the pub is known as a gaming haven. It features Nintendo 64s, classic arcade games, foosball tables, board games and, of course, laser tag.

Conscious of its location, Mars Pub offers a $7 rate per 10-minute laser tag game for students versus the $8 regular rate.

As of Oct. 27, Mars Pub officially began serving food. Owners and UF graduates Melissa Del Valle and Gabriel Pena have always wanted to serve food. Now they have reached a point where they can.

"[Serving food] allowed us to open earlier than we would have without food, and we can also open later, like after 2 a.m., to serve food to people downtown," Del Valle said.

But Mars Pub and Laser Tag isn't just for overgrown kids at heart; the pub is kid friendly until 10 p.m., when an age requirement of 18 and older takes effect.

"We also wanted to give our younger customers something else to do while they are here," she said. "A lot of people didn't want to have to leave our place to get food. Everyone just likes to eat."

The pub doesn't just serve any food. The new menu features more than 20 sub varieties, four of which are completely vegetarian. Besides the large variety, the menu is home to creative names and wallet-friendly prices ranging from $4 to $8. Names include "Mars Over My Hammy" and "Mario." Its brother sandwich, the "Luigi," consists of provolone cheese, salami and capicola.

Beyond just low sandwich and laser-tag prices, Mars strives to keep beer prices low, too. Beer specials are available Tuesday through Friday and include "Three Dollar Thursday" when customers can buy pitchers, tankards and pints of any beer on draft for $3, and "TwoCan Tuesday" when one can buy two cans of beer for the price of one.

It's specials like these that keep Mars' customers happy.

"Going to the pub is the best," said 19-year-old criminology and psychology sophomore Stephanie McNeff. "It's a great place to hang out with friends and really have a good time. Now that they serve food, the pub is even more appealing. I haven't tried the sandwiches yet, but I definitely plan on doing so - once finals are over."

Del Valle says plans are in the works to expand the menu.

"Right now we are serving just subs because it was really an easy way to start, but Gabe loves cooking, so he definitely wants more influence on the menu, and he has a lot of ideas," she said.

Within a week, Del Valle hopes to be serving customers fun specials like local shrimp on Wednesdays and waffles on Thursdays.

"We will have quirky foods, and I think people will have fun with it," she said.

Your inner child will definitely feel free to roam at this grown-up Chuck E. Cheese's, where not only can you indulge in games and booze, but you can now sink your teeth into your favorite sandwich.

For more information, visit marspubandlasertag.com or its Facebook page, Mars Pub and Laser Tag.