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Barragan bringing “joy” to Oxford with latest business venture

Joysticks Restaurant Arcade ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday signified the official opening of Antonio “Tony” Barragan’s latest venture.

Born and raised in Chicago, Barragan came to Oxford in 2011 when Buffalo Wild Wings was being built. Barragan knew he wanted to become a manager there, but he was given the shift lead position instead. He took it in stride and cultivated his serious work ethic and determination.

“I wanted to learn it all,” Barragan said. “On my days off, I would come into the kitchen with an apron on and get to work. And in about six to eight months, I became one of the managers. The majority of my restaurant training came from BWW. 

“What I’ve implemented since I started opening up my restaurants came from there. I believe they have some great training and great customer service. I took it to heart and I trained my employees the same way.”

Joysticks is located at 1801 Jackson Ave. West. Barragan described it as a spot where people can go and be happy and excited. “People can go in, have a meal, play games and just enjoy themselves with live entertainment after work,” he said. “There is something for everyone.”

Barragan is an Oxford transplant who made a home and a name for himself here 10 years ago. He is the owner and founder of Hemp Ville CBD and ex-owner and founder of Bim Bam Burgers & Wings. 

Through Joysticks and Hemp Ville CBD, Barragan has employed 15 people within Oxford.

“I love Oxford with a passion,” Barragan said. “It’s been thriving since I’ve stepped foot on it. It’s like the sun shines brighter here to me. People complain about it being packed when the students come back to town, but I love it. It’s a success story in itself.”

Barragan is proud of the community leaders, especially the Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce, for inspiring economic growth and for the way they handled the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Who are we without our community and without the Chamber of Commerce?” Barragan asked. “We are all just a grain of sand in the sandbox, and somebody can help somebody else. They help us get the word out and are resourceful in many ways.” 

While his businesses thrived during the past year, Barrigan said he was affected by seeing other businesses struggle or close during the pandemic. The result of that impact is his latest business venture, Joysticks.

“Watching these places close down during the pandemic and listening to our president and our community leaders say ‘We’re going to bounce back’ – I wanted something for people to go back to when that was happening,” Barragan said. “And it’s happening.”

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