The familiar sounds envelop me every time I stand by the door while the bouncer checks my ID. The chatter of thirsty patrons, quarters clinking, arcade games bleep-bleep-blooping: Its all part of the welcome Barcade gives when you first walk through the doors.
Barcade is unique for two reasons: it serves a vast array of rotating craft beers on tap, and there are dozens of quarter-fed classic arcade games lining the walls.
Beer prices are reasonable: $6 or $7 (subtract a buck during happy hour) for a delicious 10 or 12 oz craft beer, depending on its rarity and alcohol by volume (ABV), and any beer snob will be satisfied with the selection. The bar is lined up with handy guides to all the beers on tap, describing their flavor profiles and ABV. If beer isn’t your drink of choice, the bar is fully stocked with the usual liquors.
Every arcade game is 25 cents per play, and a change machine sits on top of the far end of the bar. Most of the the classics, usually from the 1980s, are available: Frogger, Tapper, Ms. Pac Man, Ghosts n’ Goblins, Rampage, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Donkey Kong– the list is long and satisfying. On any given night you’ll find a mix of hipsters, craft beer enthusiasts, gamers and average guys and girls hanging out.
Sometimes you will have to wait a while to play your favorite game. It’s not unusual to see a crowd of overweight and virginal gaming nerds congregate around a game and play for hours, hoping to get a high score and impress any ladies nearby. Works like a charm, right?
The space itself is quite nice even if you’re not into the games. The bar is long, and the room is spacious with plenty of tables. And, if jamming a joystick gets you hungry, the bar offers $1 beer nuts, potato chips and beef jerky .
Barcade is a great spot to start your night or just hang out, drink some great beer and bathe in nostalgia. So, put on your skinny jeans or Contra t-shirt and head on over.
Barcade has a great website with a list of beers on tap, games, hours, and other handy info. It is located at 388 Union Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.