Prepare to geek out at this temple to beer and vintage arcade games: first at the 35 classic quarter machines (Donkey Kong, Galaga, Contra), then at the ever-evolving beer selection. Opened in 2004, this is the original location of the Barcade franchise that has since expanded to include bars in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. The tap list changes regularly, but on a recent visit, included craft beers like Abita Honey Grapefruit Lager, Two Roads Worker’s Comp Saison and Kelso Carollgaarden Wit. Drop by happy hour (Monday through Thursday from 4–7pm and Friday from 2–7pm) for $1 off all beer, wine and well drinks.
Barcade® is a combination bar and arcade with a focus on classic video games and American craft beer. Today, there are locations in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Connecticut, owned by four friends; Paul Kermizian, Pete Langway, and brothers Kevin and Scott Beard.
The original Barcade was opened in 2004 in a former metal shop on Union Ave in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. At the time of the opening, Kevin and Scott were working in graphic design, Paul in film and television, and Pete in advertising. Paul had just completed directing the feature film “American Beer”, a road trip documentary profiling the American craft beer industry, and the friends were spending time drinking craft beer and playing the classic 1980’s video games that lined the walls of Paul’s Williamsburg loft.
Those beer and game filled nights inspired the group to open a neighborhood bar centered on American craft beer and classic video games. They quit their day jobs, maxed out their credit cards and began work on Barcade.
The friends did most of the construction themselves, keeping the look of the warehouse and garage that the space had been, and the bar opened in the fall of 2004.
The company registered a federal trademark in 2007 for the name Barcade and the rest is history....
388 Union Ave
|Cross street:||between Ainslie and Powers St|
|Opening hours:||Mon–Thu: 4pm–4am; Fri: 2pm–4am; Sat-Sun: noon–4am|
|Transport:||Subway: L to Lorimer St; G to Metropolitan Ave; J, M to Hewes St|
|Price:||Average beer: $7|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
4.3 / 5
- 5 star:2
- 4 star:6
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:0
The first time I stepped into a Barcade, I thought "Is this heaven?" and its close...They have a ton of classic games from your childhood and you'll find yourself snapping a ton a photos to send to your old friends "Remember this!?!" And you can play them all with a pint in your hand, which isn't half bad. What keeps them from five stars for me is it is always so packed, and there are a few games that you will just never get on unless you are comfortable watching someone else play for an hour and then pushing the rest of the waiters out of the way. And also, they place could use a better ventilation system...
Barcade is always busy, but for good reason. It's rare that you can find so many classic, nostalgic arcade games from your childhood in one place. And of all places....A FREAKING BAR. Although it is a little bit antisocial, the games do strike up quite a bit of friendly banter with other people in the bar which is nice. As far as a bar goes it's pretty basic - although there's a fairly extensive beer selection, the bar is pretty stale and not a place you'd really want to spend much time, unless you were playing games. Although with NBA JAM on offer, why wouldn't you be playing games?!
A really great place to start the night and get your happy juices flowing. These old school games are just as fun as anything on the market today and make having a drink with friends extra fun. I felt like the vibe was a little stale as there wasn't much music to my recollection and people are quite consumed with the games. However, a great starting point to the night nevertheless.
This massive spot in Williamsburg has you covered when it comes to drinking and arcade gaming. With a decent selection of craft beers at extremely affordable prices, Barcade is an extremely attractive option for a more casual night out. While this place tends to be crowded on weekend nights, there will still be a good amount of arcade machines untended. Classics like NBA Jam, Pacman, TNMT and Rampage will almost make you wish you had a coin wallet. Almost.
Barcade certainly wasn't the first business to realize that vintage arcade games are fun to play while you're sipping a beer, but the WIlliamsburg location was the first bar + arcade establishment I visited. The concept might not be as novel as it once was, but I'm consistently impressed by the shifting game selection and rotating drafts available at this Brooklyn haunt. You're laundry can wait while you use those quarters to set the latest high score on Ms. Pac-Man.