What do you get when you combine 28 craft beers on tap with 47 1980s and ’90s arcade games, from NBA Jam to Super Mario Bros. to Mortal Kombat? A packed room crammed with date nights, big groups and sheepish men in their early thirties who look as if they’ve never been in a bar before.
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|Venue name:||Emporium Arcade Bar||Contact:|
1366 N Milwaukee Ave
|Cross street:||between Wood St and Wolcott Ave|
|Opening hours:||Mon–Thu 5pm–2am; Fri 3pm–2am; Sat noon–3am; Sun noon–2am|
|Transport:||El stop:Blue to Division. Bus:9,56,70.|
|Price:||Average beer: $5|
|Do you own this business?|
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Average User Rating
4 / 5
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Get here early or at an off-time during the week, and Emporium will feel like your own arcade room...with beer. The beer selection is good, albeit a little IPA-heavy—but that's everywhere in Chicago. Go here for arcade favorites like NBA Jam and Street Fighter, however, if pinball is your jam, head over to Logan Arcade or Headquarters.
This place is a great place to spend an evening, for a great bar selection and good games. Tokens are 0.25 and the machine takes $1 bills. So take advantage. They have old school arcade and pinball machines. Some of the pinball machines don't work so be careful. I really liked the game of thrones pinball game, because you can play what seems like forever. They also offer live music, which can be super loud, but if you need to talk to someone you can go to the other room. Also they let you bring in whatever food you want to the place so just go next door grab food and go play some games.
Emporium in Wicker Park is a great place to spend an evening, especially during an off night during the week (though there's really never an off night). You can easily spend an hour playing real vintage arcade games, and they have all your favorites, plus an awesome selection of beers.
Emporium's original location features more than two dozen beers on tap and about twice that many console and pinball games for the playing—I always head first for the classic X-Men (Nightcrawler, obvs), but there are plenty of classics and some more obscure selections too (note the games take tokens, not quarters). Even if you're not playing, Emporium is a solid beer bar with a knowledgable staff, on a Milwaukee Avenue strip lined with some more questionable choices. A recent visit during Chicago Craft Beer Week found some really unusual selections on tap, like a Bell's Oberon infused with mango and habañero.