It Just Might Work: Barcades

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by Kelly Fahey

Bar culture tends to be fairly exclusive. A lot of bars are often too loud to hold a decent conversation with your friends. Sometimes there’s a band, but not everyone is into that. So, there is a new trend is taking bar culture by storm in most cities: the barcade.

Think of the days when you used to go to the arcade and spend countless hours playing Ms. Pac-Man. Now think about taking up that pastime once again, but having beers with friends while doing it. Finally, playing drinking games doesn’t have to mean beer pong.

It’s genius really, because it appeals to all generations of bargoers. Generation X-ers who remember the inception of video games can revisit their past by playing classic games like Joust or Q*bert with drinks, and the younger folks get to take a break from the overstimulation of their hyperrealistic PS4 games and play some old-school arcade games that they may have missed out on.

Sure, your neighborhood bar probably has at least a pinball machine or even Golden Tee Golf. That doesn’t make it a barcade. In fact, the Triad doesn’t have a single bona-fide barcade.

I think the time has come for the Triad to follow the rest of the bargoing world and open up a barcade. Raleigh has Kings Barcade and Neptunes, both of which have extensive drink menus and a pretty good selection of arcade games. My friend who attends law school at University of Kentucky brings me to his neighborhood barcade, Arcadium, every time I go to visit. If it works in Lexington, there’s no way it wouldn’t work in the Triad.