The long-awaited reopening of Midtown’s original barcade is finally here. Press Start reopened on Center Street (in a new location) to much fanfare. Adults of all ages can gather at the retro arcade to play old-school video games for 25-50 cents per round, plus plenty of pinball options.
The overall theme is laid back, with a separate bar room offering a pool table, seating and giant Jenga. Or walk through the archway and hit up Press Start’s original attractions—including classics such as Street Fighter, Guitar Hero and Paperboy.
Eventually, the owners of Brothers Barbecue will open a fried chicken concept called Cluckers next door. While it’s coming soon, the food option isn’t there quite yet, making a visit to Press Start more of a “come for drinks” event.
In addition to a simple beer menu featuring favorites such as Little Sumpin’, Alibi Ale Works Kolsch and Elysian Space Dust, the bartenders can whip up cocktails at the ready with a full bar behind their backs. Plus, there is non-alcoholic beer and other beverage options for the designated driver.
If you want to get creative with it—and we think you should—a list of specialty cocktails is available on the bar. And the best part is, the monikers for each beverage match the retro video game concept of the space.
Choose a Donkey Kong Bramble Scramble made with vodka, blackberry simple syrup, lime and ginger beer perfect for mule lovers. Or, down a Luigi, concocted with Jameson Irish Whiskey, Midori, Schnapps Sour Apple, lime juice and simple syrup for something sweet.
The names are expected but also proffer giggles of clever appreciation, including Level 75, The Kirby, Dr. Mario’s Painkiller and Samus Zero Suit. For fans of tequila, Pauline’s Paloma is can’t miss—a mixture of silver tequila, hibiscus syrup, lime and grapefruit. It offers much of the original tastes of a paloma, with a little something extra. All specialty cocktails run $12.
While the drinks are flowing and the game floor is full, one observation is that Press Start doesn’t serve just one demographic. Instead, the barcade caters to everyone including those who grew up with old-school arcades in their neighborhoods to younger players looking for a night out. The game floor is even open to players under 21 until 7 p.m. each night. Either way, whether you’re there for the company or the entertainment, it doesn’t really matter, we’re sure you’ll have fun just the same.