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Headquarters Beercade River North

Bars, Sports Bars River North
4 out of 5 stars
(7user reviews)
 (Photograph: Jaclyn Elizabeth Rivas)
Photograph: Jaclyn Elizabeth RivasHeadquarters In River North
 (Photograph: Jaclyn Elizabeth Rivas)
Photograph: Jaclyn Elizabeth RivasHeadquarters In River North
 (Photograph: Jaclyn Elizabeth Rivas)
Photograph: Jaclyn Elizabeth RivasHeadquarters In River North
 (Photograph: Jaclyn Elizabeth Rivas)
Photograph: Jaclyn Elizabeth RivasHeadquarters In River North
 (Photograph: Jaclyn Elizabeth Rivas)
Photograph: Jaclyn Elizabeth RivasHeadquarters In River North

Time Out says

Now Headquarters’ only Chicago location (for the moment, at least—the owners are promising a new Lakeview outpost later in 2017) brings the vintage arcade fun to River North, offering a similarly large collection of games and more than 70 craft beers. This location also serves up some non-typical bar food, including buffalo cauliflower and gumbo. All the games are free to play, so you may have to jockey for a turn in front of the Ms. Pac-Man cabinet.



Address: 213 W Institute Pl
Transport: El stop: Brown, Purple to Chicago. Red to Chicago. Bus: 66, 156.
Opening hours: Mon-Thu 5pm-2am, Fri 3pm-2am, Sat 12pm-3am, Sun 11am-2am
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Users say (7)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:4
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

I went here last year for NYE and didn't regret it! Way different from a typical NYE party, where you pay $100 just to get in. This place actually included a buffett and food/drinks were included. Also, the atmosphere is really cool and takes you back to childhood. Super fun and worth checking out for last minute plans. 


The drink menu here is really great. One Sunday of every month they hold a Funky Brunch with big DJs playing during the day. The games are all free which is a huge plus. 


I've been to this location several times and love that you don't have to pay for games. Just this weekend, I brought a friend from out of town who was a video game enthusiast. The River North location is never as packed, even in comparison to other gaming spots in Chicago.  It's easy to walk around and get to games. Paperboy, Tapper and Marvel Vs. Capcom are some favorites. I couldn't find Street Fighter though! They have cute new vintage tanks and tees you might be tempted to buy and the decor reminds you of your My Little Pony/Ferris Bueller's Day Off childhood.

Drinks are around $10-$13 a drink for their specialty cocktails...tried a tasty creative one recently with pumpkin puree, cold brewed coffee and bourbon. Shots were pretty large ($10 a shot), almost like a double shot.  Given the cost, this isn't a place where you would cocktail all night but it provides plenty of entertainment!


This arcade bar is giant, and definitely a fun time. It's interesting that they took the vintage, kitschy arcade theme and are somehow making it...upscale? I could tell the influence of the river north location compared to the more causal Lakeview bar by the classy bar crowd and overpriced food and drinks. They have a great private party area and the setup is ideal for a big group party or coworker get-together.

This Headquarters location opened after the Lakeview. I enjoy that this one has many free play arcade games as well as a similar drink selection, but they also have food served at the location.  While it is an appreciated addition, the food is a little higher priced than what is provided.  It tries to be a bit more upscale when I believe they can simplify the menu to more of a traditional pub-style.

The layout differentiates with a couple different titles (i.e. Paperboy), the large layout of audio cassette tapes, as well as a top and bottom floor. While I enjoy both River North and Lakeview locations, I slightly prefer Lakeview because of the game selection.  If you're looking for a fun spot closer to the downtown/River North area, make sure to stop by Headquarters Beercade River North! 


I’ve only been here once but HQ has a great atmosphere. Theres tons of room to dance and hang out and the wait is never too long. Plus if you’re getting board there are tons of games all around that you can play (a lot of them are free too!). They’re open late as well so if you’re looking for one more night cap and some extra entertainment head their way!

On the weekends there are A LOT of people here, and most of whom aren't the nerdy pinball enthusiasts you'll find at Logan Arcade or Emporium in Wicker Park. Expect ties and polos and short, shiny dresses. There are a few groups of people who will camp out on the machines, but overall most will play a few games and move on. The drinks are priced for the neighborhood,