Barcade: Beer, Quarters and Classic Games

Have you dreamt of a place where you could enjoy a good brew while playing games in an arcade-like setting? That magical place exists and it’s called “Barcade”. There’s Frogger, Mrs. Pacman, Centipede, Galaga and alcohol.

Being a bar, there are loads of beers to choose from. One of the hot brands was Sly Fox, which was nearly sold out of its several different flavors before the night even started. They have all your usual brands, but patrons feeling more adventrous could go for an exotic choice. Doesn’t “Jolly Pumpkin Mandrugada Obscura” sound like a good time?

Some of the many varieties of beer

Barcade also has some pretty unique food items to choose from. There are no chicken wings, burgers or mozzarella sticks here. They serve gourmet-esque meals such as the grilled three-cheese sandwich with a spiced tomato jam, the smoked salmon with herbed cream cheese and apple butter or the pork tacos with smoked pineapple salsa. They sound like things only the rich and famous would order, but they’re all available at a bar!

The place can get pretty crowded, though, so expect to wait behind someone as they thrash about on the joystick, enraged from getting steamrolled by Donkey Kong’s barrel. You’ll also see intoxicated patrons fumble with their quarters only to have them fall and roll under the machine. Sad story. It happens to the best of us. As long as you find an open spot and your pockets are loaded with quarters, though, you’ll have a blast. The lights are dimmed (possibly to see the screens better?) and the music gets loud.

Barcade is really a change of pace from the usual bar scene. It’s located in an empty part of Philadelphia and populated by college kid “hipster-like” video game nuts. Unfortunately (or perhaps thankfully) popularity hasn’t seemed to reach a wide audience yet. It’s a very friendly environment where you’re guaranteed to meet people with similar interests. After all, why go to a video game bar if you don’t like gaming? That would be like going to the movies even though you hate gigantic screens and the smell of popcorn.

A major disappointment at this location is the lack of at least one pinball machine. It should be a requirement to arcades to have one. But with two other locations on the east coast there is still hope. If you’re a gamer who enjoys a cold drink and you live or are visiting either Philadelphia PA, Brooklyn NY, or Jersey City NJ, make a pit stop at Barcade.