Coin-operated arcade games have been around since the early 1900s. At one time, arcade games were feature draws to amusement parks, such as at New York’s Coney Island or the boardwalk at Atlantic City. Pinball machines, shooting galleries, shuffleboard, fortune-telling machines, slot machines and other penny arcades became popular as early as 1905. With the introduction of video arcade games in the 1970s, the variety of games available has increased exponentially. Bars have long featured pinball machines, pool, foosball and air hockey tables, and some of the first video arcade games were introduced to the public through bars. In Philadelphia, the tradition of bars with arcade games continues into a new era.
1114 Frankford Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19125
Barcade was born in Brooklyn, NY in 2004. It quickly became a hit, which lead to the opening of Barcades in Jersey City, NJ and Philadelphia in 2011. The four original founders were video game fanatics in the 1980s. Combining their shared love of gaming with their love of beer, they decided to share their passions with the public. Games featured include Centipede, Donkey Kong, Frogger, Galaxian, Asteroids Deluxe, Gunfight, Ms. Pacman, Space Invaders and many more favorites. On-tap beer selections include Allagash White, Bullfrog Chubbel, Fish Tale Monkfish, Jack’s Hard Cider and many more.
909 N. Second St.
Philadelphia, PA 19123
With a pinball-shaped bar, North Bowl features 21,000 square feet of bar, bowling alley and arcade space. On the second floor, there is a bar, a pool table, pinball and various video arcade games available. Of course, bowling is one of the main draws to North Bowl. Since 2006, it has been a favorite spot for birthday parties and celebrations of other life events. North Bowl sponsors various leagues, and its beer, beverage and food menus offer many favorite selections.
1031 Germantown Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19123
As would any respectable beach boardwalk, Boardwalk Bar in Philadelphia offers racing arcade games, air hockey, foosball, Ms. Pacman, skeeball, shuffleboard, basketball hoops and more. The bar/restaurant specializes in seafood and other foods that are part of the fare served along boardwalks at typical eastern shore beaches. Its drink menu includes a large selection of craft and domestic beers, and it features happy hour prices on well drinks and house wines, PBRs and $1 oysters.
8634 Germantown Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19118
Since 1921, McNally’s Tavern in Chestnut Hill has been a favorite pub to visit for a few brews, meet friends, play some games and enjoy great food. Old-fashioned shuffleboard is a primary draw for traditional classic gamers. Serving favorites such as meatloaf, crab cakes, chicken corn chowder and more, it is famous for its food along, especially its Schmitter sandwiches. Operated by the great-granddaughters of the founder, the old whitewashed building is a fun, casual neighborhood hangout.
225 Church St.
Philadelphia, PA 19146
Talk about kitschy: At Sugar Mom’s, gamers can enjoy between-game drinks in a bumper car seat! Arcade hockey, pinball, Galaga and other games are available, too. Known for offering some of the least expensive drinks in the city, the bar features daily specials. And though its menu features classics like pierogies, buffalo wings, nachos and more, Sugar Mom’s also has a veggie menu.
Jeffrey B. Roth, has won numerous state and national news and feature-writing awards during his career. A well-known crime writer, investigative reporter and a feature writer, Roth writes for a number of magazines and newspapers. Listed in the Locus Index of SciFi and Fantasy authors, Roth is the author of a number of published short stories and poetry. His work can be found on Examiner.com.