Across the U.S., Bars Are Letting You Play Your Favorite Childhood Video Games Cocktails mix with vintage video games at the newest arcades.
Old-school is cool again. Arcade games that were popular in the early '80s are reentering the social sphere thanks to savvy bar operators who know that a bit of Super Mario is better with mead on hand.
Though no firm industry numbers are available, there's observable growth in this specialized market. "There's just been an explosion of arcade bars," says Paul Kermizian, co-founder of New York's Barcade. "The last two years have been crazy. We tried to keep track, but it seems like there's a new announcement or new place opening every week."
In Chicago, Emporium Arcade Bar doubled its space to 6,000 square feet, adding 20 arcade cabinets to its roster; Headquarters Beercade also stepped up its game by opening a second, larger location last August in River North. Los Angeles, too, has joined the action with the opening of downtown's industrial-chic EightyTwo and The One Up in Sherman Oaks.