The Ultimate Guide to Video Game Bars

Think back to the best birthday party of your childhood. Do you remember running through an arcade with a slice of pizza in one hand and shiny arcade tokens in the other? Was there an animatronic rock band, a beautiful row of skeeball machines, and a bottomless pitcher of pop?

It’s too bad you can’t return as an adult.

But wait—what if we told you a video game bar exists and that there’s an awesome one right in your favorite city? Instead of an animatronic band, there’s a local DJ, and instead of pop, they’ve got the wildest craft IPAs on tap. And there’s still pizza!

Boy, do we have some good news for you! Keep reading to learn everything there is to know about Emporium Arcade Bar. 

Arcade + Bar = Arcade Bar

Is this your first time hearing about the compelling combination of a full-service bar and playable retro arcade? Welcome to the madness! An arcade bar is basically what it sounds like—a 21+ arcade where you can grab a drink, plunk down in front of your favorite classic cabinet, and go ham!

You no longer have to settle for the stale six-pack in your fridge when you’re ready for game night. Each of our locations has its own unique menu of incredible bar options, with a variety of unique beers, ciders, and ales on tap. If you can think of a quirky IPA, we probably have it chilled and ready to go.

Our bartenders are crafty and can mix up any cocktail you can think up. We’ve got fifty different kinds of whiskey on hand at all times! 

We also offer soft drinks, wine, hard soda, and non-alcoholic options. Basically, an arcade bar has everything you could find at other types of bars, but with the sounds of dozens of classic and retro games singing the song of their people in the background… we call that “ambiance!” 

What’s Playing?

While we think the drinks at our in-house bar are pretty sweet, it wouldn’t be an arcade bar without games. The coolest part about gaming at Emporium is that you can have a unique experience at each of our six locations. Each bar is home to many of the classic video games, pinball machines, and table games you crave. 

How does it work? Each of our arcades uses the same old-school token system. Each token is worth twenty-five cents, and most of our games take between one and four tokens. 

You can even get unlimited plays with a confirmed reservation at our San Francisco and Oakland locations! For just $20 per head, your guests can chase that high score until the last call!

A few of the classic cabinets that you can find across our locations include:

  • Asteroids
  • Centipede
  • Dig Dug
  • Donkey Kong
  • Frogger
  • Galaga 
  • Mario Brothers
  • Mortal Kombat 
  • Mrs. Pacman 
  • Paperboy

More of a pinball wizard than a joystick jouster? A few of the coolest pinball machines that you can find across our locations include:

  • Austin Powers
  • Caddyshack
  • Deadpool
  • Godzilla
  • Jurassic Park
  • Paragon
  • Revenge From Mars
  • Simpsons Pinball Party
  • Space Jam
  • World Cup Soccer

Not feeling the screen after a day in front of a work terminal? A few of the retro table games that you can find across our locations include:

  • Air Hockey
  • Foosball
  • Pool
  • Ice Chexx
  • Shuffleboard
  • NBA Hoops Basketball
  • Skee-ball

Don’t see your favorite game? Check out our full list of offerings and double-check that your favorite is available at your nearest location. You might even stumble across a new favorite! 

The Hippest Event Venue Out There

While you’re welcome to stop in for a round of pinball any night of the week, we’re also here for your special occasions. Emporium is not only a casual hang-out – but we’re also an event bar! That means you can bring a crew and game the night away or rent out the entire space and let the whole office loose! 

If you’re bringing a squad of fifty gamers or less, you don’t need to pay to use the space. Call us up so we can put a few tables aside for your guests. They can buy their own drinks and tokens, or you can grab some drink tickets and token packages. 

Our outside food policy means that you and the crew can eat whatever you’re in the mood for! It’s not unusual for groups to order a bunch of pizzas right at the bar. You can bring in and set up your own catering as long as there’s an attendant on hand. 

If you’re looking to host a larger event, our humble arcade bars can accommodate up to 500 guests. We can help you book a band or DJ and hook you up with some of our favorite, tried-and-true vendors. We’ve hosted everything from corporate events to bachelor parties! 

In essence, if you can dream up a party, we can probably host it. Each of our locations does things a little differently, so check out our bookings page for specific party brochures. 

We Host Our Own Events, Too!

If you aren’t looking to host an event, come attend one of ours! Each of our locations hosts plenty of entertainment year-round. Whether you like stand-up comedy, live bands, awesome DJs, or a great karaoke night, we’ve got you covered!

Are you a local band, comic, DJ, or artist looking for a rad venue that consistently packs the house? We’re looking for you, too! Check out our music bookings page to get in touch and play the most unique venue in town. 

Experience a Video Game Bar for Yourself

We’ll be honest—it can sometimes be tricky to fully comprehend the dynamic energy of a video game bar without stepping foot inside. Luckily for you, there’s no cover charge, so you’re free to come and check us out! Why not see for yourself what makes Emporium Arcade Bar the neatest hangout and venue in four major US cities!

Need some more info before you step into our hallowed halls and get to gaming? Drop us a line and we’ll be happy to answer all your questions. In the meantime, we’ll keep your favorite retro machine plugged in and waiting!  

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