(credit: EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)
Change the pace of your evening by adding a little gaming excitement to it but not the kind you would typically “play” in the LoDo clubs and pubs. There are plenty of bars where you can bring out your inner player arcade style by connecting with a game of Pacman or Skee-ball and a side of beer or fries. Score big at one of the bars below, pick-up lines are discouraged.
1925 Blake St.
Denver, CO 80202
The 1UP is one of Denver’s most popular arcade/bar combos. Opening its doors for business in 2011, it hit the ground running, packing the basement space nearly every night of the week. The 1UP offers over 45 classic arcade-style games as well as Skee-Ball, pinball and several sets of giant Jenga. Add to that 14 beers on tap built into a custom arcade cabinet, daily happy hour with beverage specials and you end up in a gamer’s paradise. This Mile High hot spot has a winning record and has expanded, opening 2UP in Capitol Hill in 2012.
Press Play Bar
1005 Pearl St.
Boulder, CO 80302
Press Play Bar in Boulder has a corner on the market when it comes to classic, vintage video games like Ms. Pacman, Donkey Kong and Galaga. Add to that beer, cocktails and a DJ and your evening is free to spin in any direction you desire. The Press Play concept was masterminded by locals Jesse Gossett and Mike Boselli who turned the basement space into a player’s paradise. In addition, the bar hosts weekly and monthly themed special events and happy hours to keep the already vibrant atmosphere buzzing.
Punch Bowl Social
Denver, CO 80203
Dubbed “The best new bar” by Westword, what really sets Punch Bowl Social apart from the bar scene is that it packs a massive amount of entertainment and quality menu options under one roof. The 24,000-square-foot bar offers throwback ‘80s video games, bowling, billiards, ping pong, marbles, darts, shuffleboard, floor shuffle and much more. Whether you want to unwind or gear up, Punch Bowl offers its guests both a coffee and regular bar full of signature concoctions. There is no possibility that you will find yourself bored or leaving on an empty stomach when visiting. The only risk you take is whether or not you will be able to get into this nightlife hot spot if you arrive too late.
The Varsity Inn
7500 S. University Blvd.
Centennial, CO 80122
When it comes to arcades, is there anything that is more perfectly paired with them than pizza and beer? The Varsity Inn has made that gamer’s paradise into virtual reality. With vintage old school games which still require quarters to be played and beer served in cans, you will feel like you took a step into the past when you visit this niche bar. It serves daily shot specials, hosts weekly happy hours and has several food specials throughout the week as well. This budget-friendly bar/arcade combo will keep your beer and food spending at a minimum, freeing up your gaming change for the machines.
Blake Street Tavern
2301 Blake St.
Denver, CO 80205
Located one block north of Coors Field, the Blake Street Tavern recently renovated and converted its basement space into a game room. The semi-private area includes basketball, Skee-ball, shuffleboard and other arcade-style games. It can be reserved for parties or enjoyed casually by the Tavern’s patrons. Stack on top of that its award-winning food and beverage menus and you’ve got one of Denver’s top bars to dine as well as play in.
Related: Top Party Rides In Denver