Headquarters Beercade

Bars, Sports Bars Lake View
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(6user reviews)
9 Love It
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Headquarters Beercade
Photograph: Martha Williams
Headquarters arcade bar

Though it opened a few months after Wicker Park’s Emporium Arcade Bar, this rival barcade is not content to play second fiddle. All of HQ’s 37 vintage arcade games (Terminator II, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, etc.) are free to play, which means no waiting in line for tokens, more money to spend on the high-end beer list and surprisingly ambitious cocktails (like the Billy Mitchell, a spin on the G&T that incorporates a touch of Malört) and no end to the sheer joy that comes from detonating your date in Mortal Kombat.


Venue name: Headquarters Beercade
Address: 2833 N Sheffield Ave
Opening hours: Mon–Fri 5pm–2am; Sat noon–3am; Sun noon–2am
Transport: El stop: Brown, Purple (rush hrs) to Diversey. Bus: 8, 11, 76.
Price: Average beer: $8
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Average User Rating

4.2 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:5
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening
Heather P.

I'm no longer in my 20s and I no longer live across the street from here (sadly, I spent a good 6 years living across from Uncle Fatty's and Cherry Red) and if I had, I probably wouldn't have moved! This was my second attempt to go here. The first one was a huge fail because the line was nearly down the block and I no longer feel the need to wait in line to get into the coolest places in town when my pjs and tv are available (wha wha, cue the sad old jokes).

That being said, once in a blue moon I get a little pep in my step and the urge to live like the fun youngster I once was. So my second attempt to get in, there was no line, but the place was packed and I was clearly older than most of the people in there. With that being said, it also gave me the advantage of actually remembering playing lots of these games in real arcades before the days of XBox and whatnot.

It was a blast. My husband and i made a real date night out of it. The beer list is quite extensive and actually pretty good. Games are free so there is of course a wait, but once you get in on a game, the fun begins. We had a great time. I highly recommend coming here for a date night whether it's your first and you need an ice breaker or it's your 100th and you need to reconnect. Such a fun way to spend a night, have a few drinks and let loose.

Dana B

I prefer the Headquarters in Lincoln Park over the one in River North because of the space but sometimes the Lincoln Park one gets VERY crowded. I love the drink options as well as the games being free. I make my way to one of the Headquarters at least once a month and always have a great time.

Clayton Guse

Headquarter is a bit more bro-ey than other arcade bars of the sort, though Logan Square's Emporium is starting to give it a run for its money. But unlike most other spots, the games are free. The space is large enough to get lost in, and the beer list is long and the prices are reasonable. 

Stephen J

Hands down, my favorite arcade bar in Chicago! Free play arcade games of many classic titles, a skee-ball machine, and many wonderful craft beers and other assorted cocktails! They also will hold fun events such as the Back to the Future party and many different New Years Eve events.  If there is one complaint I may have is that they don't serve food, however there is many neighboring places you can go eat at if you need a video game break and they will allow you to have food delivered.  If you're a gamer or you're an 80s or 90s kid wanting to relive an arcade from childhood (while downing a couple brews), come check out Headquarters Beercade Lakeview!

sara f

From the neon signs to the super long list of craft beers this is a great place to hang out with a large group. The best part about this place is that all the old-school arcade games and pinball machines are free. I'd definitely take anyone who visits from out of town to this bar.

Madeline N

So I’m absolutely terrible at video games, and adding alcohol did not help, but regardless I had a blast playing my friends in foosball. There were no lines for the games (granted I got here super late so the place was mostly empty.) They played mostly 90s music which is my favorite and their beer selection was pretty extensive from what I remember. I would definitely recommend this place if you’re looking to have a different experience from one that you would have at your run of the mill bar or a late night spot to have some fun with your friends.