Popular local brewery, Night Shift Brewing – with breweries and taprooms in Everett and Boston, plus two seasonal beer gardens in Boston and a third on the way in Somerville – has expanded again. This time it’s part of Level99, a huge playground full of escape room-like challenges in the Natick Mall.
The sprawling venue, which is located in the former Sears area, fills 48,000 square meters with a night shift bar and beer hall, several private dining rooms and over 40 rooms that offer over 100 physical and mental challenges with different topics. The challenges are aimed at groups of adults and include everything from swinging on ropes across a floor of (LED) lava to navigating through laser beams to steal a gem in a museum.
A physical challenge on Level99 Chris Winroth / Level99
Night Shift’s recent partnership with Little Branch Hospitality – people from Branch Line, Shy Bird, and Eastern Standard (RIP) including restaurateur Andrew Holden and chef Nemo Bolin – continues from Night Shift’s Boston location to that location, what means more Detroit style pizza. The taproom with almost 100 seats has a full table service, while the beer hall with 140 seats offers a counter service. They share a menu with apps, salads, sandwiches, the above pizza, and the like; Think hot Nashville chicken sandwiches, a burrata and prosciutto salad, gochujang chicken wings, and more. The taproom also has a couple of starters, like grated coffee short rib and miso glazed salmon.
Level99 comes from CEO Matt DuPlessie, an engineer who worked on projects with Disney and Universal Studios and founded 5 Wits, escape room style venues with locations in Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. DuPlessie’s design and production company Box Fort is behind the challenge rooms on Level99.
DuPlessie regards Level99 Natick as a flagship location and has won Panera founder and former CEO Ron Shaich as a partner for an obvious offer for world domination or at least some expansion. Apart from his history at Panera, Shaich has become a household name in the local restaurant scene in recent years: Through his investment group Act III Holdings, he is driving the expansion of restaurant chains in the Boston area such as Tatte and Life Alive.
The Level99 online ticketing system is not yet operational; Customers can purchase tickets on-site ($ 30 for two hours, $ 40 for four hours, and $ 50 for all-day access; group rates are available). Night Shift takes reservations through OpenTable.