Page 63 - San Luis Obispo Visitors Guide • Summer 2022
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The Great Escape brings family fun to the Central Coast
 Find escape rooms, virtual reality games, food, drinks and more in Atascadero
Looking for that next great ad- venture? Look no further than The Great Escape, a family-friendly, all-around-fun venue located in the heart of downtown Atascadero. Since opening in 2021, The Great Escape has welcomed thrill- seekers from across the Central Coast and beyond. An immediate favorite of locals, word has spread about this unique escape room that not only offers fun and excitement, but also serves up food, wine, beer, and cocktails.
“We have it all here at The Great Escape,” said Owner Bill Murrieta. “Our motto is ‘Come Escape Life Awhile’ and we aim to offer the best service possible while ensuring an elevated experience for our guests.”
A graduate of Cal Poly SLO and retired commercial pilot, Murrieta’s career took him to various locations across the globe where he discov- ered the appeal of escape rooms during his travel downtime.
“My friends and I have been
to multiple escape rooms and I learned over the years what ap- peals to people,” Murrieta said. “I visualized bringing this type of entertainment to the Central Coast and making it even better than
any other rooms I’ve experienced. Essentially, I wanted to create a sort of all-in-one venue with food, beer, wine, and tons of fun.”
And that’s exactly what he’s accomplished with the help of his amazing crew. The entire staff is dedicated to ensuring each guest has an unforgettable adventure and leaves wanting to come back for more.
“When somebody leaves our doors, we want them to say, ‘That
was the most incredible experience I’ve had in a very long time.’ That’s been our goal from day one,” he said.
Escape rooms and virtual reality
Whether you want to try stop- ping a mad scientist in Dr. Chadd O’Nay Goes
Mad or
finding a
bank rob-
ber’s loot in
The Hide-
out, the
rooms at
The Great
Escape of-
fer a slew of
The rooms
have a ca-
pacity limit
of six people, with Murrieta stating four as the ideal number.
With most escape rooms, once you’ve completed it, you’re done and it’s not much fun to try it again. That’s not the case at The Great Escape.
“The rooms here change so the way you get out – or escape – can be different every day and the dif- ficulty level also changes,” Murrieta
said. “So, one day it’s dialed back and the next it will be set to very difficult. We keep things exciting around here!”
Adding to that excitement are the virtual reality (VR) games. Choose from five different options – Top Golf and Nature Treks are recommended for beginners while
Red Mat- ter, The Room:
A Dark Mat-
ter, and Escape Legacy: Ancient Scrolls are hits with interme- diate level players.
“Vir- tual reality is gaining in popularity,
especially with the kids,” Murrieta said.
Food, beer, wine
The Great Escape is the perfect place to spend time with friends and family over a plate of nachos or a glass of wine. With food that satisfies the younger crowd and more ample offerings of food and
beverages for the adults, there truly is something for everyone on the menu.
“After completing the escape room, most people want to sit down and talk about their adven- ture,” Murrieta said. “We have the ideal place to do this while enjoying an appetizer or meal together.”
Murrieta and his crew strive
to use the freshest local ingredi- ents and highest quality products available. The family-friendly menu includes appetizers, finger foods,
a charcuterie board, and more. Popular items include the nachos, mini corn dogs, tater tots, and a tri-tip chili made from a 40-year old family recipe. Desserts include a homemade brownie, corn bundt cake, and cheesecake.
“I think we have the most family-friendly menu in the area,” Murrieta said. “These are foods people love and most are simply nostalgic, fun foods. Oftentimes, a family will come in, the kids go play a virtual reality game while the parents sit nearby enjoying an appetizer and a glass of wine.”
A limited number of cocktails are available, including a “break- fast in a glass” Bloody Mary. As a sommelier, Murrieta takes pride in serving guests a rotating selection of local wines and beers in addition to unique offerings from around the world.
Want to plan a date night? The Great Escape is the perfect place to spend an afternoon or evening – food, drink, and tons of fun. Plans are underway for themed activity nights, and options are available for team building and special events.
Bring the entire family or enjoy a date night at The Great Escape, located at 8115 El Camino Real in Atascadero. Find more informa- tion and reserve your time slot at or call (805) 703-1452. Check for updates, specials, and more on The Great Escape on Instagram and Facebook.
-Meagan Friberg
  Take a Great Escape for an adventure and good food with owner Bill Murrieta.
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