New Arcades Open In CA, FL, IA, ID, KY, MN, MO, NM, TX, WI, & The UK

arcadehero May 20, 2019 2

I’ve got a bit of catching up to do on the latest locations that have opened up their doors out there, covering more than a month’s worth of openings since our last such post. Because there are so many, I decided not to mention the location names in the headline, as it just becomes too large (it’s long enough just by mentioning the state abbreviations). If you happen to find yourself anywhere near these new arcade venues, be sure to stop by and buy some credits to help them get a strong start to the business.

Also a big H/T to Replay Magazine and their increased coverage on new locations lately, they’ve pointed out a lot of these via their newsletter & website. I did not include all of the locations they mentioned in those letters, as this is already a big post and those particular locations don’t have any opening dates yet, so we’ll save those for later.

Drop Zone (Janesville, WI)

Let’s start off with one that just opened inside of the Janesville Mall, designed by route operator and site friend All Castle Games. This is bringing a traditional arcade mix of video & redemption titles to a mall setting, which includes the likes of: Asteroids; Fast & Furious upright; Galaga; Galaga Assault (redemption mode); Ghost Squad (Dlx); Jambo Safari; Maze of Kings; Pac-Man Battle Royale (Dlx); Temple Run (redemption mode); WrestleMania pinball and more to the area. They also have quite a number of merchandiser & redemption games on hand. Find them on Facebook here.

Putters (Waco, TX)

Here’s a location that opened up at the end of April, right before the site here started having those issues. They blend a sports bar, mini golf course and arcade into one location, the game selection including: Area 51; Centipede/Let’s Go Bowling/Millipede; Frogger; NBA Showtime/NFL Blitz 2000 Gold; Neo Geo MVS 4-slot; Pac-Man Class of 1981 (Ms. Pac and Galaga too); Stargate; Tekken 3; The Simpsons; and more. Find them on Facebook here.

Barcade (Los Angeles, CA)

Not many people out West seem to know this, but there is an actual company called Barcade. They have vigorously protected their name, which is no easy task when a majority of bars now operate arcade games in on way or another. Now, that recognition should spread as the company heads over to the West coast to establish a center in Los Angeles California.

They have a strong list of games on site to play, including: Berzerk; Blitz 99; Chiller; Defender; Donkey Kong; Dragon Spirit; Golden Axe; Joust; Lucky & Wild; Metal Slug; Moonwalker; Night Driver; Pac-Man Battle Royale; Rampage; Rampart; & more. That “more” also includes pinball machines like The Addams Family, Medieval Madness, Monster Bash, Star Trek TNG and others.

1984 Branson (Branson, MO)

I’ve never been to Branson, but I’ve heard plenty about it over the years when it comes to being a center of entertainment. That said, I’ve also not heard about many arcades in the area. That can change now, as 1984 Branson opened their doors in April.  This is the second location for 1984, the first of which has been around for a while in Springfield. The game mix is focused on those classics that many of you likely recall from your youth, such as Asteroids, Centipede, Defender, Donkey Kong, Galaxian, Gauntlet, Pengo, Vanguard and others, with all of the video games set to free play. They also have pinball machines (which are charged), although that’s a place where they’ll “break the 4th wall” and include some newer titles mixed in with the old (Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Wars and The Walking Dead by Stern can be seen in their photos). Find them on their main website here.

The Circuit Social (Norfolk, VA)

This 12,000 sq. ft. facility just opened their doors, bringing together drinks, bowling and arcade games under one roof. Per the website, this is the 2nd location, with a 3rd in Charlotte, NC currently in the works. While I would list out some of the games as usual for this location, the games page on the website doesn’t mention which location it is for, so I think that this is referring to their first spot in Richmond, meaning that the Norfolk one probably has some differences. Those with sharp eyes can probably spot a few games they are familiar with in the photo below. Find them via their main website here.

Taco Arcada (Duluth, MN)

Sometimes pairing the arcade business model with some other gastronomical concept pays off, one that comes to mind recently was the “cerealcade” in Texas on the last location report. Now you can also add Mexican food+arcades, with Taco Arcada in Minnesota. They have a stronger focus on pinball than video games (covering titles from the 60’s up to today), the former including Arena; Black Knight: Sword of Rage; Dr. Dude & His Excellent Ray; F-14 Tomcat; Fire!; Fish Tales; Galaxy; Night Rider; Pinbot; Pool Sharks; Police Force; Raven; Strange Science; Truck Stop; World Cup Soccer & more. Admittedly, some of those I’ve never heard of before, but I’m sure that they are good fun. You can find Taco Arcada on Facebook, here.

Retro Arcade (Warrington, UK)

Excepting the very bottom of this post, this serves as the only other international arcade venue to have opened lately, and in the UK. I often receive or hear lamentations of how barren the arcade landscape is on that side of the pond, so I’m sure that this is welcome.

As the name implies, this one is mainly providing those classics, but in a distinctive location that looks like the inside of a hangar or bunker. On the outside, what we would call a strip mall in the US, is an actual arcade (as in the architectural word) of shops. That makes it an arcade in an arcade 😛 Some of the games you can expect to find there include a Double Dragon; Hyper Sports; Marble Madness, Operation Thunderbolt; Out Run; Pac-Man; Pole Position (cockpit); Space Invaders Part II, Super Monaco GP; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and more. They also have a few games that are on the newer side of things (Guitar Hero Arcade, F355 Challenge, DDR). Check them out on Facebook. 

Hangar 38 (Tallahasse, FL)

Here’s an FEC that opened their doors back on May 4th, although between the website and the Facebook page, I really don’t know what games they have around since they put their attention on other aspects of the company. One interesting photo from their website though shows a Mario Kart Arcade GP DX in the foreground, but right next to it is a pair of Initial D Zero cabinets and you can see a Maximum Tune 5DX+ poster in the background. By that, I’d guess they might be into imports… they also have a room for pinball too.

The Operating Room #3 (Ankeny, IA)

Here’s another location that is expanding, the first location being one that we mentioned back in 2017. They have since opened their second location in Waukee and will be opening their 3rd not too far from the first in Ankeny.  I’m not sure what games location #3 will have, but it’s safe to assume it will be similar to the first two, sporting a mix of newer video games and redemption content to play. Find them on Facebook, here.

Jeremy’s Downtown Arcade (Nampa, ID)

We don’t seem to hear about many new arcades opening up in Idaho, so this is a welcome addition. This is an arcade that first opened up back in 2013, but after the location lost the lease, they’ve been looking for a way to regroup and re-open, the latter of which will take place on June 1st. While the website doesn’t show a list of games at the moment, their front page does show several recent Japanese games that you don’t really find in distribution here like Dance Evolution Arcade, Groove Coaster & Sound Voltex, among others. By their Facebook page, it also looks like they’ll have one of the Taiko No Tatsujins, Gauntlet Legends, & Rail Chase, plus more. They are doing a free play with entry model, only charging $4 for an all-day pass. Sounds like the cheapest way that you’ll get to experience some of those games!

Rad Retrocade (Las Cruces, NM)

Also opening their doors in June is a retrocade with a totally radical 80’s theme to it. While most of the games will be from the 80’s & 90’s, including the likes of Galaga, Mortal Kombat, Ms. Pac-Man and Rampage World Tour, they will also have games from this century, such as Mario Kart Arcade GP, Target Terror Gold and Guardians of the Galaxy pinball. More info was published at Alamogordo News.

Bar of Soap (Louisville, KY)

Laundromats are often considered as “street locations,” venues that tend to have a couple of coin-operated arcade machines on hand so that people waiting for their laundry can entertain themselves. Now, a location in Kentucky is looking to elevate the laundromat into a full-blown bar/arcade with Bar of Soap. Thus making is a “laundrocade.”

Per the news video that was shown on WHAS 11, the location is still under construction, aiming to open by the end of this year. Since we’re still a ways in advance, there is no final list of games, but if the video is anything to judge by, it’ll have a strong focus on pinball.

Japan Game Center Updates

Keeping track of new locations that are opening in Japan, these are links to location announcements from Japanese news sources:

Arcade Game Museum Project Open In Kumagaya <- Someone taking to heart the game museum route in Japan. Not seen that happen very often.

Sega Center Minami opens

Taito Opening “Toys Cafe” In Hakata <- This one is going strong for the kids demographic, focused on toys, merchandise, kiddie rides and such, although they do have a Densha De Go!!! there. Opens this Saturday.

Bandai Namco Opening Month Long ZK Cafe in Akihabara <- As you can tell, interactive cafes is all the rage in Japan right now; this one will only be going for a month though.

Whew, that’s all for now. If you know of any location that will be opening it’s doors here soon, let me know who they are and I’ll be sure to highlight them in the next location post! Until then, be sure to go out and play!


  1. Steffen May 21, 2019 at 10:36 am - Reply

    The Retro Arcade is in one of these “converted underpasses” of railroad tracks that you can see quite frequently in the UK.

    • arcadehero May 27, 2019 at 9:47 am - Reply

      Ah, I figured there was some history behind that. Thanks!

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