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Industry Bar, Restaurant, and Classic Arcade Games
Founded 2004 in Brooklyn, NY

Barcade is a chain of bars with locations in New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia. The bars feature a combination of classic arcade games and draft beer from local and regional American microbreweries.[1]

The original Barcade opened in 2004[2] in a former metal shop at 388 Union Avenue in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn and won immediate acclaim for its unique combination of vintage arcade games and rare American craft beers.[3][4] The locations are owned and operated by four long time friends, brothers Kevin Beard and Scott Beard, Pete Langway and Paul Kermizian, who is also the director of the 2004 documentary film American Beer[5] about the American craft beer industry. 25 beers are available on draft and cask at each location and are chosen exclusively from American craft breweries. The selection leans towards locals from the northeast including Brooklyn Brewery, Sixpoint Brewery, Cape Ann Brewing, Dogfish Head, Victory Brewing, Climax Brewing, River Horse Brewing Company, Southampton Publick House, Blue Point Brewing and Captain Lawrence Brewing. Some examples of the arcade games featured are Tapper, Q*bert, Donkey Kong, Tetris, Robotron: 2084, Centipede, Super Mario Bros., 1943, Berzerk, Frogger,[6] Rampage, Tetris[7] and Star Wars.[8][9]

In 2010, it was announced that two other Barcade locations would opened by the owners, the first in downtown Jersey City, New Jersey[10] and the second in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[11] The Jersey City location opened on April 22, 2011.[12] The Philadelphia location opened on October 10, 2011.[13][14] In December 2012, it was reported that Barcade was expanding again, with a location in Manhattan planned for 2013,[15] although that location was delayed and did not open until June 2014.[16] A second Manhattan location was announced in spring 2014 [17] and opened in October of that year. This one was different than the other Barcade locations, with a focus on classic fighters and games from the 1990's.[18]

Many world record holders and world class gamers can be found at the Brooklyn location. There is a high score board on display and many of the names on it are well known world record holders.[19] Plastic surgeon and Barcade regular Hank Chien set the world record in Donkey Kong with a score of 1,061,700 in March 2010. Chien can often be found at Barcade, practicing his skills on the Donkey Kong machine, wearing his operating scrubs.[20] 38 year old George Leutz set the world record on Q*bert in February 2013 with a score of 37,163,080 after spending years practicing on the machine in Brooklyn's Barcade.[21] Joshua Lombay set the world record for the 1984 Midway game Timber (video game) in June 2013 with a score of 9,767,550 after having discovered the game and playing for the first time at Barcade in Brooklyn.[22]

Barcade first filed for a federal trademark of its name for use in bars and restaurants on July 20, 2007.[23]

By 2012, the success of the Barcade chain had inspired other similarly themed bar and arcade combination businesses to open in other cities in the U.S.,[24][25] with many of these places citing the original Barcade location as their inspiration.[26][27][28][29] New arcade bars directly inspired by Barcade opened in Las Vegas, Denver, Kentucky, California, Maine, Iowa, Vermont and Oregon.[30][31][32][33] Two opened in Chicago in one year, one of them dubbing themselves a "Beercade"[34] and the other, called Emporium, being opened by a former Barcade employee.[35] Very similar to Barcade, Emporium "follows that well-oiled model almost identically, serving up about three dozen classic arcade coin-ops plus numerous beers on tap."[36] Soon, even regular corner bars started to add vintage arcade games in an attempt to cash in on the trend, [37] and Details Magazine named arcade bars as one of the hot cocktail trends to watch in 2015.[38]

A few of this new wave of bar and arcade businesses attempted to actually use the Barcade name[39][40] causing confusion as to who was operating these locations, but Barcade successfully defended its trademark in these instances.[41] [42] Other new arcade bars launched with similar names, figuring out ways to not infringe on the trademark. In addition to the "Beercade" in Chicago, a San Francisco company launched as "Brewcade" in 2014.[43] The press and industry looked for other names to call these arcade bar hybrids, with the DNA Association branding them "social-tainment" and also referring to them as "game bars"[44] but most referred to them as "arcade bars".[45][46]

Barcade launched its own app for the iPhone in May 2014.[47]


  • In 2008, Barcade was named one of the best bars in America by Esquire magazine.[5]
  • In February 2013, the Brooklyn Barcade was named the best bar in New York City by social media site Foursquare.[48][49]

Wind power[edit]

Barcade gained a lot of publicity by operating on 100% wind power which the company purchases through green energy providers.[50] The Brooklyn location obtains its power from wind-generated turbines located in upstate New York,[51] the New Jersey and Philadelphia locations from a combination of wind generated turbines in New York and Pennsylvania.[52]

Exclusive Beers[edit]

Barcade has collaborated with several American craft breweries to brew exclusive beers that are only available at Barcade locations. These beers are brewed in very small batches and are only available for a limited time. In 2013, Barcade collaborated with The Harpoon Brewery on Sriracha Blonde, a blonde ale brewed with Sriracha hot sauce [53] and also with Victory Brewing on Fall Bockwards, a 7.5% strong bock.[54] Sixpoint Brewery brewed a 2 year long series of exclusive beers called "The Barcade Beer Project". The beers were re-releases of Sixpoint beers that were brewed in 2004 and 2005 but had since been retired. The series included highly regarded beers such as Black Soul Porter and Bolshoi Imperial Stout.[55][56]

Special events[edit]

Barcade hosts many special events including frequent "beer nights" in which beer from a specific brewery is featured on draft and cask and the owner and/or brewer of the brewery appears to answer questions and meet customers.

From 2005 to 2007, Barcade hosted an event called "Fünde Razor", an officially-sanctioned fundraising event for Penny Arcade's Child's Play in which they dedicate a special area of the bar to playing the video games Rock Band and Guitar Hero. Proceeds from the event go to the gaming-related charity.[57]

In 2008 an event called "Wii-mbledon" took place, in which televisions and Wii gaming consoles were set up around the bar and for a Wii tennis tournament. This event occurred around the same time as Wimbledon.[58]

In 2013, Barcade held the first in a planned series of video game tournaments presented in conjunction with the video game high score keeping organization Twin Galaxies. The tournament was called "The Williams Manufacturers Challenge" and featured competitive gamers competing in classic Williams video game titles such as Defender (video game), Moon Patrol and Sinistar.[59]

The Gutter[edit]

In September 2007, the owners of Barcade opened The Gutter, a bar with eight regulation size 10-pin bowling lanes. This was the first bowling alley of any kind or size to open in Brooklyn in nearly 50 years.[60]


  1. ^ "Dining Briefs"
  2. ^ "Drink and Revive: The Rise of Barcade"
  3. ^ "Belly up to the bar at America's Best Brew Pubs"
  4. ^ "The 30 Best Beer Bars in America"
  5. ^ a b "Best Bars: Barcade - Esquire"
  6. ^ "NYC: The Best Bars to Entertain Visitors"
  7. ^ "Happy Birthday, Tetris! Video-Game Icon Turns 25"
  8. ^ Baertlein, Lisa (2007-04-13). "Old-school games in "barcade" renaissance". Yahoo! News (Yahoo! Inc.). Archived from the original on 2007-04-14. Retrieved 2007-04-13. 
  9. ^ "Shredding the competition"
  10. ^ "Construction to start on Downtown Jersey City Barcade -- a combination bar and vintage video game arcade"
  11. ^ "Brooklyn's Barcade Eyeing a Philly Spin-off!
  12. ^ "For Arcades, Survival Hinges on Alcohol
  13. ^ "Building a Retro Nightlife Empire"
  14. ^ "Barcade: Bringing together video games, beer"
  15. ^ "Barcade Is Opening in Manhattan"
  16. ^ "Beer and Video Games, Now a Place"
  17. ^ "Nostalgic video game bar adding two more locations"
  18. ^ "Manhattan Gets a Second Barcade Next Week, This One for '90s Games"
  19. ^ "The Best Video Game Bars in America"
  20. ^ "N.Y. Surgeon Sets World Record at Donkey Kong"
  21. ^ "The Kings of Q*bert"
  22. ^ "Joshua Lombay: Timber World Record Falls"
  23. ^ "Trademark"
  24. ^ "New Nashville Restaurant Two Bits to Feature Classic Arcade Games"
  25. ^ "Sip, Nibble and Play"
  26. ^ "From LoDo to the Smithsonian, Video Games Get Their Due"
  27. ^ "North Lexington Bar Has Retro Niche: Arcade Games"
  28. ^ "Headquarters Looks to Become Largest Pinball Arcade in Midwest"
  29. ^ "Live Music Club Casbah Makes Way For Games at Social"
  30. ^ "Gaming at the Geekiest Club in Vegas"
  31. ^ "Arcadia Among Crowdfunded Bars Coming to Portland"
  32. ^ "The Quarter Barrel Arcade and Brewery to Open in Cedar Rapids"
  33. ^ "Arcade-Bar to Occupy Former Free Press Building"
  34. ^ "Arcade bar Faceoff: Headquarters vs. Emporium"
  35. ^ "Emporium Arcade Bar Opening in March"
  36. ^ "Community Service: The Story of Chicago's Indie City Arcade Cabinet"
  37. ^ "B Side Liquor Lounge in Cleveland Heights Adds Old-time Arcade Games"
  38. ^ "Predictions 2015: What You'll Be Drinking Next Year"
  39. ^ "Barcade Coming to H Street NE - But Is It a Rip-Off?"
  40. ^ "Noho Barcade Faces Trademark Infringement Lawsuit"
  41. ^ "Barcade Solicists New Name After Cease and Desist"
  42. ^ "Arcade Bar in East Village Asked to Stop Using the Term 'Barcade'"
  43. ^ ; "Brewcade Isn't Playing Around with Trademark"]
  44. ^ "A Nascent Trend, the Rise of the Gamebar"
  45. ^ "The Castro is Getting an Arcade Bar"
  46. ^ "Joysticks Will Be Dedicated Arcade Bar in West Haymarket, Owners Say"
  47. ^ "Barcade on the App Store on iTunes"
  48. ^ "Best of Foursquare - New York City"
  49. ^ "Here are the best Places in New York City, according to Foursquare"
  50. ^ "Beer and Wind: But It's Not What You Think"
  51. ^ "Williamsburg owners of Barcade and the Gutter run on wind power"
  52. ^ "Using Wind to Power a Brand"
  53. ^ "100 Best '13: What Ales You"
  54. ^ "Victory Fall Bockwards"
  55. ^ "Sixpoint and Barcade, a Charity Holiday Event"
  56. ^ "Black Soul Porter Release Party"
  57. ^ Funde Razor official site.
  58. ^ "Wiimbledon Crowns Top 'Tennis' Champs"
  59. ^ "The Williams Manufacturers Challenge at Barcade"
  60. ^ "Brooklyn's First Bowling Alley in 50 Years Opens in Greenpoint"

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°42′43.3″N 73°57′04″W / 40.712028°N 73.95111°W / 40.712028; -73.95111