• Arcades getting retrofitted with twenty-first century innovation—alcohol.
08.08.12

Arcades getting retrofitted with twenty-first century innovation—alcohol.

If you've been to Brooklyn, chances are you've heard of Barcade. It's the '80s-style arcade in Williamsburg that's also been serving draught beer since 2004. As Kyle Orland writes, this trend is bringing back arcades in a whole new way, as are new establishments that target a broader age range in general. 

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The arcade industry is dead in the United States—everyone knows it—done in by a combination of rapidly advancing home consoles and rapidly expanding suburbanization in the late '80s and early '90s. The only people not in on this bit of conventional wisdom are the ones who happen to be opening a surprising number of successful new arcades around the country.

Classic arcade games might seem like a tough sell in the middle of the glitz and glamor of Vegas, but in the 15 months since Insert Coin(s) opened, Laporte said the location has grown to fill its 298-person capacity every night—and often has 45 minutes lines to get in. Those customers aren't just there for the arcade games, though. The Fremont street location also offers a full-service bar (with table service that includes loaner systems ranging from the NES to the Xbox 360), a DJ-equipped dance floor, events like a Halloween costume contest, and frequent musical guests including De La Soul and Talib Kweli.