Welcome to Location Watch, a semi-regular post where we highlight new arcade locations which are opening their doors for the first time. If you missed the last LW post, click here; It’s been about two months since our last one so there’s been a bit of accumulation on these sites. I also probably still missed some places out there despite spending several hours scouring the internet for news. As always, I tip my hat to both Replay Magazine and Intergame Online, who provided links to many of the places below. Also to those who posted tips on social media about new sites.
I normally loathe pulling the “like, subscribe, and share” schtick that’s popular with social media these days, but I’d just like to throw out a reminder that sharing these posts in particular can do some good as it can help these new businesses get some exposure and slowly help fight back against the typical & tired “arcades are dead” mantra. So if you know anyone near one of these places, send them the link to this story or even just the website or social media of the place you’re most interested in; If you yourself are near one, be sure to go and check the venue out.
Shorty’s Pins x Pints (Pittsburgh, PA) – We’ll start with a place that opened up in February, although like many locations we’ve mentioned over the past year or so, they were working to open in 2020 when you-know-what happened. The game selection is a bit more focused on things like duckpins, foosball, bocce ball, shuffleboard and pinball than video stuff, but they have 5 arcade games on hand with 10 pins, some of which you can see below. Find their website here (and they mention that a 2nd location is in development):
Retro City Arcade (Pembroke, NC)
This new retrocade opened their doors last month in North Carolina. They use the standard retro arcade model of having the games on freeplay behind an entry fee; 25 games are currently available. These include: Daytona USA, Fisherman’s Bait, Jambo Safari, Ladybug, Point Blank, Steel Gunner, Street Fighter III 3rd Strike, and more. I am not finding a website or Facebook page for it but there’s this news article about them here.
Sprockets Fun Foundry (Keystone, SD)
South Dakota is not a place that shows up often in these posts but that changes today with a new FEC having opened their doors in the state this month. Keystone is a pretty small town, with a population in the low triple digits, but thanks to being the closest place to Mount Rushmore, it sees a ton of tourist traffic pass through (that’s the only way you’d be able to justify something the size of an FEC in such a low population place).
UPDATE: I had a chance to visit Sprockets when I was on vacation in South Dakota recently; Here are the pics (click to enlarge):
For attractions they have food & drinks, a strong focus on VR from the likes of both Hologate and Hyperdeck and an arcade with a focus on newer video and redemption pieces (I caught Jurassic Park Arcade and Minecraft in a couple of pics, most of the other pieces looked like redemption). If there are other attractions beyond that, they aren’t mentioned on the website at the moment but you can check them out there or on Facebook.
Panama Barcade (Boquete, Panama)
Speaking of infrequent places that have new arcades opening their doors, we head south to Panama for the Panama Barcade. Also located in a small town, they have brought a large selection of adult beverages to the area, along with retro arcade gaming. I don’t know what the collector or shipping scene is like for arcades in Panama, but I do imagine it’s a bit of a challenge. Some of their games include: Asteroids, DDR X2, Gauntlet Legends, Golden Tee 2019, Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker, Mortal Kombat II, Ms. Pac-Man, Neo Geo MVS (6-slot), The Simpsons and more. Find them here or on Twitter.
BIG: Best In Games (Ypsilanti, MI)
A 74,000 sq. ft. FEC in Michigan has opened their doors, bringing a sizable arcade to the area full of newer titles but a handful of classics too. As is usual with FECs there is no list of games, but the pic below gives you a good idea of what to expect. They also mention an area on the 3rd floor that has 16 retro games available to play. They also have bumper cars, an adventure course (sometimes called ninja courses), go-karts, axe throwing, laser tag and even the mightily impressive Grave Digger VR ride by DOF Robotics that I saw at the last IAAPA. Their main website is found here.
The Beer Research Institute Taproom & Arcade (Mesa, AZ)
Stating that they are “Downtown Mesa’s First and Only Arcade Bar,” this company has 4,000 sq. ft. of space dedicated to their drinks and games. 40 arcade titles plus several pinball machines are available, including 1942, Centipede, all three Donkey Kong arcade releases, Galaga, Mortal Kombat II, Street Fighter II, & plenty more; Pins include Comet, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Dracula, Super Mario Bros., Tales from the Crypt and so on. Find them here.
Kudos Taproom & Fieldhouse (Taylor, MI)
Here’s a new FEC that opened in Michigan, bringing a strong focus to “field games” (cornhole, football bowling (which seems to be speedily gaining popularity), axe throwing, etc.) to their venue. They even have some hammocks setup for customers to lounge on, which is different. They do have a retro arcade but in the media I’ve seen about it, I only caught a quick, distant glimpse of those machines and couldn’t tell what they are. If you’re in the area though, find their website with address details here or visit them on Facebook.
Double Tap (Iowa City, IA)
Here’s a new bar/arcade that just opened up in Iowa City and it’s a part of a larger bar operations company called Paramount Barco. The website for the location isn’t active yet, but they do have a basic Facebook page up, which mentions the presence of “50 retro to current video games and pinball machines. From Asteroids to Killer Queen…”but no photos of the games yet. It opened in April though, so it is a place you can check out if you’re in the area.
Pirate Pete’s Family Adventures (Pevely, MO)
This pirate-themed FEC is mainly focused on mini-golf and Nerf Wars, but they do have an arcade area with air hockey, basketball, crane machines and other redemption pieces. I don’t see any video-only titles although there have been a few pirate themed games over the years that would work well in a place like this – particularly Taito’s own…Pirate Pete. Seems like it’d be worthwhile for them to get one of those at least, although they are rather rare. Anyways, find their website, here.
Sports & Social #12 (Allentown, PA)
The 12th venue for this sports-focused bar does include an arcade as a part of the mix, although I wasn’t able to find out what that might entail – apart from skeeball and some bar games like foosball and beer pong. Check them out here.
Also of note:
Europe & UK
Korekuta No Hakoniwa (Bethune, FR)
Here’s a new spot that wouldn’t be classified as an arcade location but as a “street” location, given that they have an arcade as a part of their other offerings, including a Japanese grocery store and manga sales. For the arcade side they have several Japanese candy cabs, all running original hardware games and a few others including an Aliens Extermination. They appear to have JAMMA games from the late 80s & 90s (I can see Final Fight in there, along with a Super Street Fighter II Turbo) and they also mention the Neo Geo. Find them at their official website
Gametown (Les Landes de Gasconge, FR)
Also in France is the 43rd location for the Veltmeijer Group, which operates Gametown, GameState and GameCity branded locations in Europe. I’m not sure if the location is just the room you see in the pic below or if there’s more to it than that (I imagine that there is), but between this and Korekuta mentioned above, it’s great to see some more arcade growth in France.
NQ64 #8 (London, UK)
The arcade bar chain in the UK known as NQ64 continues to grow as they just opened their eighth location, this time in SOHO (which is London I think – Londoners, correct me if I’m totally wrong). It looks like a similar setup to their other locations, which includes some extensive UV artwork of space, planets/moons/nebula on the walls. For the games they have the likes of Daytona USA, Guitar Hero Arcade, Mario Kart Arcade GP(2, I think), OutRun 2, Space Invaders, Tetris, Time Crisis (1,2 & 3), and even a couple of pins like Star wars (Stern) and Avengers Infinity Quest. They have a page on the NQ64 website here but are most active on Instagram.
Shott (Andheri West, Mumbai, India)
Headed over to the East, India continues to see a bit of amusement growth, including this new FEC that features bowling (enhanced with Touch Magix’s Spark Experience) and over 70 arcade games. Some of those come from the “home team” of India-based Touch Magix, but they also have stuff from Raw Thrills, Sega, ICE, Baytek, LAI” and more, all using Intercard. More info is found on LinkedIn
Timezone (Oberoi Mall, Mumbai, India)
This says it’s location #54 for Timezone but is just within India as between Singapore, Australia and some other spots in SE Asia, TZ as a whole has well over 200 (maybe over 300 now?) sites. This location offers plenty of what consumers familiar with TZ expect, including a massive arcade full of new games, bowling and more. The website for this location is here.
GiGO Ikebukuro Building No. 3 Opened On May 10th (Tokyo, JP)
Arcade Legacy In Ohio Is Consolidating Their Two Locations Into One – Opening later this year
EVO Entertainment Group Is Building An FEC In San Antonio, TX – Slated for a December opening
Quarters Arcade Bar #2 Opening Up Soon In Sugar House (Salt Lake City, UT) – Saw this in a private group chat, so no link for now
Thanks for reading! Again, if you’re close to one of these places, do more than just like their page and say how awesome it is. Be sure to go out and give them some business.