To Top

Meet Hung Pham, Steve Tran, Tony Dao, Andros and Long John Nguyen of Unlocked: Escape Room in Irvine

Today we’d like to introduce you to Hung Pham, Steve Tran, Tony Dao, Andros and Long John Nguyen.

Thanks for sharing your story with us. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
A few years ago, we experienced our first escape room in LA, not knowing exactly what it was or whether we would enjoy it or not. Needless to say, time went on and we all developed a passion for escape games as we continued to do as many as we could. Around the same time, the five of us we’re all looking for something more…a new project to undertake to distract us from our everyday jobs. The stars aligned and we decided to dive into the Escape room industry, where we could bring the same joy to others that we’d been experiencing, but with our own personal spin and flare. And so began the journey of five guys who united together to form what is now UNLOCKED: Escape Room, but that journey did not always make smooth turns.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
From brainstorming ideas to our grand opening, we faced many obstacles along the way. One of the major challenges we encountered early on was our inexperience in starting a business. We were all professional workers, but not quite entrepreneurs. Luckily, our teamwork, communication, critical thinking, and ability to solve problems (qualities we learned from doing escape rooms, naturally) allowed us to power through, learning new facets of business ownership along the way. We also learned a lot about each other, more so than we had bargained for, but nothing we could not handle as a team; as with any partnership, compromise is the key to success, and it definitely helped unlock our true potential as both friends and co-owners.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
We are an escape room. Well, we created and run an escape room. An escape room is a team-based game in which players have to work together to find clues and solve puzzles in order to achieve a certain objective within a specified time limit. Through our shared admiration of magic, our escape room, “The Return of the Magician”, follows the story of a famous magician returning to the stage after a long hiatus and inviting the players to be his fellow magicians to perform in the show.

Our unique theme encompasses puzzles and clues that integrate magic and illusions in a creative way.

We are most proud of our customer service. As avid escape room enthusiasts ourselves, we want to make sure our guests get that same rush and feeling of excitement that we get in playing through an escape adventure. That’s why we, as owners, are still working at our location to be the gamemasters for our guests. At the end of the day, it’s our top priority to make sure everyone has a great time. Plus, our game has some cool elements to it, too. But no spoilers here — wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise!

What were you like growing up?
We all come from different backgrounds, but similar enough since we mostly grew up in the surrounding Orange County area. We are a mix of musicians, magicians, rock climbers, martial artists, trivia fanatics, engineers, scientists, gamers, and more. Everything about our personality and interests led to our love for escape rooms and opening an escape room of our own.


  • Regular: $30 per person

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in