I love going to bars with games. Pool, darts, shuffle board, board games; you name it. I have such a short attention span that I’ll play anything even if I’m terrible at it. Enter Barcade: “the best high school hangout you never had”. Combining a big selection of craft beer (24!) and an even bigger selection of retro arcade games, there are locations all over the Northeast. Technically the location the list has is the one in Williamsburg. But I’ve been to the Jersey City location a few times (and it’s much more convenient). It’s a great date spot. If your date is great, you’ll have a great time playing games and drinking great beer. If your date is not so great, you’ll still have a great time playing games and drinking great beer. It’s a win-win for everyone. It’s also a great bar to bring a group. It’s set in a large, open space with games lining three walls and a seating area in the corner. They also serve food until 11PM on weekdays and 1AM on weekends and have daily happy hours. I was so excited when I saw they currently have Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout on tap. It’s one of my favorites and almost like a dessert for me since it’s so rich and creamy. Other names I spotted were Sixpoint, Brooklyn Brewery and Kane, so there’s definitely something for everyone.
In order to play the games you need to buy Barcade tokens, but one token equals 25 cents, and most games are only one token so you’re not losing any money. The only downside for me is that the games are 20 to 40 years old, so the nostalgic effect doesn’t really apply. Plus I never really went to any arcades when I was younger, just the ones on the boardwalk down the shore and I usually opted for skeeball. But the last time I visited I brought my older cousin Mark and he was instantly obsessed. He made me play Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles until we went through $5 worth of tokens. Every time one of us ran out of lives we just kept feeding the tokens in! Personally, I love pinball. I’m not very good but there’s something about all the flashing lights and moving parts that I can’t stop from coming back to. I spent most of my night at the Addams Family addition which I had actually played before at one of my many visits to the New Jersey Pinball Museum in Asbury. My other favorites: Crazy Taxi, Gunblade NY, and Mortal Kombat.
4 bars down, 46 more to go.