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The Barking Cow and Reality Bytes Muncie announce closing

Two small businesses in Muncie announced via Facebook that they were closing their storefronts permanently.

MUNCIE, INDIANA (NewsLink) – Two small businesses in Muncie announced via Facebook that they were closing their storefronts permanently. 

The Barking Cow put out a post Thursday that read the opening for the 2023 season would be “unsustainable” for the franchise. They thanked their customers for all the support. 

NewsLink Indiana received a statement from the owners of The Barking Cow of Muncie: 

While we are disappointed that we have to shut down the Muncie location, we hope you will make the drive to support the Gaston Barking Cow during their upcoming season! There are many great small businesses here in Muncie to support as well. We really urge you to get out and support our downtown neighbors as we have plenty of hidden gems here!

A post from The Barking Cow of Gaston signified the Muncie ice cream shop was under a different franchise ownership, and the Gaston location would not be affected. Now, that location is set to open in early April. 

Reality Bytes Muncie, a virtual reality arcade located just off McGalliard Road, also announced its closing effective March 1. The arcade just opened its doors in July 2022 but shared via Facebook that the business is “unable to survive in the current economy.” 

NewsLink Indiana also received a statement from an owner of Reality Bytes Muncie: 

Since opening in July 2022, we have always appreciated our customers and welcomed them in to a laid-back atmosphere.

Unfortunately, the economy has made it tough for all of our treasured customers. And it has made things tough for us, too. We know money is tight, and our dollars don’t go as far as they used to. Rent and food are more important than entertainment, and they should be. We all have families to take care of. 

So, to try and take care of our awesome Reality Bytes family and save their jobs, we went  to ‘Reservation Only’ on February 1st.  Unfortunately,  our sales continued to fall and we are unable to pay our staff and other overhead costs due to the low volume of customers.

We are sad to see our business, dreamed up by our 13 year old with autism, and carried out through our incredible family, dissolve before us. We were hopeful that the new and cutting edge entertainment would become a draw for the community that we love. 

We understand the importance of putting needs before wants and in this economy, and unfortunately, that means cutting out entertainment.  We were proud to partner with many non-profit organizations in the area, participate in a parade,  partner with local small businesses, provide family events, and more.

As this chapter closes, we have faith that a new chapter will begin, and we eagerly await what the future holds.

Our sincere gratitude to our incredible customers.

Reservations can still be made to game at Reality Bytes Muncie through February. 

Contact Grace Bentkowski with questions or comments at gmbentkowski@bsu.edu or on Twitter at @gbentkowski.