A Monopoly pinball machine (photo via PinballRobin on Flickr)
At Uptown Arcade, a new Uptown arcade bar that opened Friday, there’s no need to shell out quarters (or, more convolutedly, shell out quarters for tokens) to play the games. Patrons can just enjoy unlimited play on the bar’s 40 games—for free.
So far, the most popular games at the arcade—which is just a stone’s throw from the Green Mill and the Riviera—include NBA Jam, Tetris, Frogger and Star Trek pinball, manager Rebecca Hakanson told Chicagoist. It’s hard to gauge popularity, though, she added, since “everyone just freaks out and runs around like little kids, playing everything.”
Located at 4830 N. Broadway, in what was once the Annoyance Theatre space, the bar has front and back areas separated by a hallway. In the front, guests can find the bar (over which hangs a taxidermy bull head they call “Bill”), along with six arcade games and some seating. In the back, there are what Hakanson calls “the main games,” including “cocktail machines”—arcade games you can play seated. “[They're] very ’70s, which is the vibe we’re going for,” Hakanson said.
As for what you can drink while you play, “We’re still working out the kinks [in the drink menu],” Hakanson said. “But we are going be whiskey- [and] bourbon-heavy, and [serve] local beer.” Currently, they have Revolution Brewery beer on tap, “Hamms and High Life are selling really big,” and the bar is also serving “really, really top shelf whiskeys.”
Beyond the gaming and drinks, there’s also some special extras. (And not just that stuffed bull head.) The arcade also sells “old school trading cards,” the type with “a little piece of gum in them,” Hakanson said. They have Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cards, Gremlins cards, and more.
Uptown Update also notes that while there’s no food served at the arcade, Lao Sze Chuan, the Chinese restaurant next door, delivers to the premises for free.
Uptown Arcade is open seven days a week. Monday through Friday, it’s open 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Saturday and Sunday, it’s open noon to 3 a.m.
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