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What Is An Arcade Bar (Barcade)?

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If you are new to arcades or gaming in general then you may have heard about an arcade bar and wondered what exactly it is. You are in luck. In this article we will go into detail about what an arcade bar is as well as explain some more things about it. 

So, what is an arcade bar? 

An arcade bar is a relatively new style of arcade that combines gaming with drinking alcohol. Often these bars are equipped with a variety of different retro games as well as new titles that you can play with your friends. Normally this style of arcade will have some fun signature drinks that you can enjoy as well. 

An arcade bar is a great place to hang out with friends or family or a great place to go and meet new people. You will find all kinds of games there such as Mortal Kombat, Merchandisers, Donkey Kong, Skee Ball, Racing, Pinball, and a whole host of others. 

Some arcade bars will only have retro style games such as Pac Man, Pinball machines, Tetris, etc. while others will have all new titles or a combination of the two. 

These styles of arcades are geared towards those in the 21- 35 age bracket as those people are often the ones that are interested in some retro gaming while also being comfortable with the newer games and technology. 

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Origin of the Arcade Bar

Early arcade manufactures did not have the foresight to include a place where people can set their beers and have a nice time. In a twist of fortune, when the old amusement arcades started going into extinction some arcade owners tried some different things  to help bring in more people and more revenue. Owners often tried selling food or making the place an attraction for birthday parties (Chuck E Cheese) or even a place to eat and have fun with friends (Dave & Busters).  

These restaurants and birthday places worked fine but required a lot of space which wouldn’t work in large cities. 

Some owners got the idea to simply sell drinks to people while they played retro or new arcade games, and it was a hit!

People love to go to bars and hang out with friends and many people also like to hang out and play games so the combination of arcade and bar was a great match! The idea works great for the arcade bar owners as they get people to stay longer and buy more drinks and games and it also works well for the customers since they have a fun place to go and hang out with friends or coworkers in the evening or weekend. 

Afterall, no one wants to sit at home watching TV all weekend long! 

The arcade bar has become such a popular business that many business owners have converted their bars into having arcade games as well.   

One huge upside to this trend is that there are tons of different machines that owners can build their business around. They could have machines such as air hockey, claw machines, pinball machines, skee ball, or even just have a bunch of retro style games.  Buying and keeping up arcade machines can be a costly business but being able to sell high margin drinks to people while they are playing games has turned out to be a winning strategy.

Features of an Arcade Bar

The arcade bar is an adult playground and it is not necessarily a place for families with children. Just because it has the name arcade in it doesn’t mean that younger people are allowed. Most arcade bars (barcades) will have a minimum age requirement of 21 but some places will have designed times of the day where they have family hours where the entire family can come and have fun. 

If someone in your group is under the legal drinking age it would be a good idea to call ahead and make sure that they can get in. 

The arcade bar has a number of features that distinguish it from the amusement arcades and the major feature of the arcade bar is that it combines gaming experience with bars. The beer selection is normally incredible and they will often have a number of ciders, lots of local offerings from multiple breweries and some other fantastic drinks. Often a specific style of arcade bar will have a themed drink that is specific to their location only. 

 Most arcade bars also have a gaming section with an impressive number of games and types available. You will often find games such as: air hockey, racing games, football throwing, first person shooters, and a large variety of others as well. 

Many arcade bars will have multiple floors of games with tons of different ones to choose from. Afterall, the longer you stay playing games, the more drinks that you will likely buy. 

Some arcade bars will have places to buy basic appetizer style food while others will have complete menus just like a restaurant  that you can order from.

What age groups can visit an arcade bar? 

Many arcade bars require you to be of legal drinking age to get in. They do this to make it easier on the waiters/waitresses so they don’t have to check IDs everytime that someone buys a drink. 

However not all barcades require everyone to be over 21. Some places are more geared towards families so they just check IDs if you want to purchase alcohol while people of all ages are welcome to come and enjoy the games. 

Some recently built arcade bars have schedules for kids which enables them to be able to come into arcade bars. This schedule could be specific hours of the day or during the daytime on the weekend but in most cases, arcade bars are usually visited by adults.

Why do people go to arcade bars? 

Many people have fond memories of playing arcade games with their friends when they were younger, however going to an arcade with a bunch of screaming kids running around certainly puts a damper on those memories. 

The arcade bar solves this problem by only allowing adults to come in and play the games with their friends. It is kind of like an adults only cruise or beach. It is nice to not have to worry about kids running around and bumping into you are getting in the way!

Another reason why people like to go to barcades is that they get to have a fun time with friends while also blowing off some steam/stress from the workweek. Barcades are especially busy on Friday and Saturday nights as people enjoy “letting their hair down” after a long and stressful week. 

For most adults that are into playing arcade games, it is not just the playing games that is fun.  Many people feel visiting arcade bars will allow them to kick back and relax and help them relive a simpler time when they used to play those games as a child or teenager. 

Being able to play those games also lets you share those memories with family or friends as you tell them how good you used to be at a specific machine and try and show off your skills that you haven’t used in years. Playing a two player game against an old friend can help rekindle that friendship or make you mortal enemies! (ok maybe that’s a slight exaggeration) 

Another reason that people like to visit these arcade bars is they can get to meet new people. If you head there by yourself you can often find a group to play a game with. That is especially true if all of you are on about the same skill level for the game or if you are really good and everyone wants to try and beat you! 

Why Are Arcade Bars becoming so popular? 

Arcade bars provide an enjoyable atmosphere for relaxation so many people go there to unwind and relieve their stress. It also provides the excitement of having fun and the experience of having a beer while playing games with strangers or friends.  

Not every arcade game can be played at home due to the financial cost of purchasing them or the amount of space that they take up, but being able to play them at the barcade allows you to have a ton of fun for a fraction of the cost.  

Arcade bars have become places where people visit quite frequently because the nature of the games are far better than those home games in terms of play and the games at the bars have also been designed in such a way that you cannot get the same experience by playing them at home.

There is just something different about playing a racing game when you are actually controlling the wheel and trying to beat the person sitting next to you! 

Another reason that they have become popular is because many barcades are at the forefront of virtual gaming. Virtual gaming is the latest trend but it can be quite expensive still for individuals to buy or the individual units just don’t work very well right now. 

Playing a virtual game while everyone stands around and laughs or cheers you on is a great way to spend an evening! 

If you’ve never been to a barcade and want to see what it looks like inside before you head to one then check out this video below. 


Many arcade bars have been built all over the world because they now offer gamers the opportunity to play retro games and they also offer gamers prizes and bonus games. 

The arcade bar is the perfect place for a group of friends to come and unwind and for a couple to spend some time together having fun. The arcade bar is set up in a very enticing manner in such a way that it is indeed a huge center of attraction to whoever comes across it. Once you get inside an arcade bar you normally won’t want to leave until you are either out of money or are too drunk to stand up! 

Arcade bars are a lot of fun and a great way to spend an evening playing your favorite games of years gone by or trying to beat a new friend in a racing or virtual reality game!