Arcade Hunters Support Arcades During COVID-19

June 9, 2020

The Arcade Hunters recently compiled a list of arcades in need of support during the coronavirus update, along with details on how fans can contribute.

            “COVID-19 has been wreaking havoc on small businesses all across the country,” reads the post. “The financial impact on small businesses has been immense due to social distancing, stay at home orders, and forced closings of nonessential businesses.”

            The post notes that—despite government support, social media movements, and large companies assisting restaurants, bars, and their employees—the focus on arcade seems “lacking.”

            “That's why we are compiling a list of arcades and how you can help support them while they are closed,” the post continues. “We will be adding to this list as we come across more arcades that offer either merchandise or other ways that we can support them.”

            Arcade operators wishing to have their business added to the list can contact the Arcade Hunters through Twitter.

            In the interest of spreading the word, I thought I’d recompile and paraphrase the Hunters’ list in today’s article. Read on to see how you can help arcades in need.

American Classic Arcade Museum

The American Classic Arcade Museum (ACAM) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit museum located at 579 Endicott St N in Laconia, New Hampshire. The ACAM is dedicated to promoting and preserving the history of coin-operated arcade games from the industry’s pre-electricity roots to the 1980s. The museum utilizes “educational displays, cut-away models of games, vintage publications, antique catalogs, and guest lectures” to spread their message. The ACAM is now accepting donations to facilitate a smoother transition out of closure and keep their “one of a kind” facility alive.

Arcade Galactic

Arcade Galactic, formerly known as the Game Grid Arcade, is a traditional arcade located inside the Valley Fair Mall in West Valley City, Utah. Since 2008, the venue has provided “video arcade and pinball fun to gamers” with a selection of titles spanning multiple decades. Though the mall recently reopened its doors to the public, Arcade Galactic is always open to outside support in order to “keep the arcade spirit alive.” Owner and operator Adam Pratt, helmsman of the Arcade Heroes blog, has shirts and books for sale through Amazon and Teepublic. 

Arcadia National Bar

Arcadia National Bar is a bar/arcade hyrbrid located at 24 Preble Street in Portland, Maine. Like many similar venues, the company offers video games, pinball, and adult beverages to patrons. The establishment has recently reopened its doors to the public. For those not in the area, Arcadia also has an online merchandise store and regularly posts events on their Facebook page.

Barcade

Barcade is the “original arcade bar” with locations in Brooklyn, New York; New York, New York; Jersey City, New Jersey; Newark, New Jersey; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; New Haven, Connecticut; Los Angeles, California; and Detroit Michigan. Founded in 2004, the company prides its self on classic arcade games and adult beverages. As part of its “Barcade To-Go” initiative, Barcade is offering takeout, growler fills, merchandise, and gift cards for patrons to support their favorite locations during this time.

BitBar

BitBar is a “classic arcade”, restaurant, and bar located at 50 Saint Peter Street in Salem, Massachusetts. The venue’s mission is to provide a hub for friends to partake in gaming, dining, and consumption of adult beverages. While still temporarily closed to the public, you can support BitBar staff by ordering food takeout or delivery, purchasing gift cards, or donating directly to the “unemployee fund” on their website.

Flippers Variety & Arcade

Flippers Variety & Arcade is located at 6615 Caratoke Highway in Grandy, North Carolina. This retail store and gas station offers video games, pinball, air hockey, foosball, kiddie rides, a snack bar, and birthday party packages. Patrons can still support Flippers by purchasing items from their convenience store or buying gasoline, but the arcade portion is not likely to open until later in June due to coronavirus restrictions.

Galloping Ghost Arcade

Galloping Ghost Arcade is a freeplay arcade located at 415 Ogden Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. As the largest arcade in the world—with over 700 machines and counting—many fans are eagerly awaiting the location’s reopening. In the meantime, the folks at Galloping Ghost are selling merchandise and reproductions on the Galloping Ghost Productions website. Patrons can interact with the team remotely through livestreams on the venue’s Twitch channel.

Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade

Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade is located at 115 NW 5th Avenue in Portland, Oregon and “brings the classic arcade experience into the modern age with a full bar and food nightly.” The venue announced March 24 that it would not rent out arcade games to customers due to the “serious health risk” of doing so, but avid fans can still purchase merchandise through the online shop.

Logan Arcade

Logan Arcade is an adults-only bar and arcade located at 2410 W Fullerton Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. The venue has put on live streaming events and is currently running a “Logan Arcade Staff Relief” fundraiser. According to previous reporting by the Arcade Hunters, Logan Arcade potentially may offer gift card sales, as well.

Mystic Pinball

Mystic Pinball is located at 104 Avenue A in Turners Falls, Massachussetts. Billed the “first pinball-only arcade in Western Massachusetts,” the location boasts “more than 20 pinball machines from over six decades. Mystic Pinball has gift cards available to support them during their closure.

The Quarters

The Quarters arcade is a destination for food, drinks and 20-plus vintage arcade games, located at 8 Railroad Street in Hadley, Massachusetts. The company sells merchandise and gift cards, which can be purchased now for those looking to support a local New England arcade.

Reboot Retrocade & Bar

Reboot Retrocade & Bar is the self-proclaimed “nerdiest bar in town,” located at 566 Cherry Street in Macon, Georgia. Following the guidelines outline by their state, the venue was able to reopen in May. Reboot also holds free online tournaments listed on their Facebook page, during which they accept donations.

Rock Fantasy

Rock Fantasy is located at 12 East Main Street in Middletown, New York and offers curbside pickup. (While this may an inappropriate time to mention this, I should put it out there once and for all that Wilcox Arcade does not support the usage of illicit substances, including but not limited to smoking and drinking. I, Dustin Wilcox, do not endorse Rock Fantasy’s products in any way.)

Tappers Arcade Bar

Tappers Arcade Bar is an arcade/bar hybrid located at 501 Virginia Ave, Suite 102 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Indy’s “original arcade bar” was offering curbside pick up for adult beverages up until May 30 when they ceased sales to “work on a few projects.” Eager fans can still support them by purchasing merchandise or gift cards, watching their Twitch streams, or by donating directly to an employee fund.

Tokens Taproom

Tokens Taproom is an arcade/bar hybrid located at 284 Central Avenue in Dover, New Hampshire. The “first of its kind” in the state, the venue is home to over 25 arcade games and a variety of food and beverage items. Those wishing to support Tokens Taproom can purchase custom token holders from the company or purchase wings tossed in “Tokens Sauce” from local restaurant Wing-itz.

Although I may late to the party in highlighting these venues, I knew it would be wrong of me not to do anything I could to “signal boost” their plight amid closures and financial uncertainty.

            This article would have not been possible without the tireless efforts of my friends Nick and Gerard at Arcade Hunters before me. They did the frontend research into how we can help arcades in need.

            I know for a fact the Hunters are serious about supporting these venues, as they even purchased a shirt from my Teepublic page. (My own game room at the Main Street Tavern has been closed since March.)

            I’ve only supported one of these arcades so far—I purchased an Arcade Heroes pin for my backpack—but I know I should probably do more. Until I do, I’m hoping my writing will a positive effect, no matter how small.

            While some of arcades will likely reopen soon in the wake of eased coronavirus restrictions, I think it’s still important for us to help them out. Many patrons may be afraid to visit arcades, having an adverse effect on business.

            I’m truly hoping for the best for each and every one of these game centers. We arcade gamers couldn’t play our favorite games without them.

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