The easiest way to our hearts is through a great drink and an even greater game…
And it’s often hard to come by these anywhere in the world, especially when you can get both together. We’ve quested throughout the rough streets of Los Angeles to find some of our favorite spots to grab a drink and get our game on…
If you follow us on Instagram, you’ll know we frequent this place quite a bit. Great craft beers, margaritas, and Wurstkuche is right around the corner. This place can get quite packed in the evenings, however, a Saturday or Sunday afternoon right after they open can give you a good 5-hour window without the crowd.
EightyTwo is located at 707 E 4th Pl. in downtown, (213) 626-8200. It’s open Tuesdays through Thursdays, 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Fridays, 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Saturdays and Sundays from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. Closed on Mondays.
Jillian’s @ CityWalk
Jillian’s prides themselves on their drinking and bowling alley, but they do have a charming (and sometimes sticky) arcade hidden deep within the back of this place. The drinks are reasonably priced and they have a variety of appetizers to get your snack on. Plus, if you get a bit more hungry you can pop out to CityWalk at any time or even finish your night with a movie if you so, please.
Jillian’s is located at 1000 Universal Studios Boulevard, Universal City, CA 91608 at Universal Studios Hollywood’s CityWalk, (818) 985-8234. It’s open Monday through Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Thursday, Friday and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. After 9 pm on Thursday – Sunday, all guests must be 21+ to enter.
The One Up
This bar opened it’s doors in September 2014 and is quite the hotspot on Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks, and has been packed full every night. What’s more appealing is that all of the games are free to paying customers, so no need to fill your pockets or fanny packs full of quarters. Save those for laundry or for a different barcade trip. Not only do they have some of the classics, but you can also find dozens of games you never knew existed! You can find a full list of their current game line up by clicking here.
The One Up is located at 13625 Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks, (818) 849-5181. Daily, noon to 2 a.m.
DAVE & BUSTERS
Dave & Busters may be a bit on the commercialized side of barcading it up, but I have no problem hopping on the train down to Hollywood to grab a drink and play some Star Wars Battle Pod during Happy Hour. It’s true, all of the spots are more like a TGI-Fridays or Chili’s rather than a mom & pop arcade, but they still have a large selection AND a prize store to redeem your hard earned tickets. The arcade has everything from Skee Ball, to old school style ‘luck’ games, and several 4D experience type games. On a recent visit, I easily sunk nearly $5 into the Jurassic Park 4D game, and another $5 into this indie 3D horror game.
Dave & Buster’s has a variety of locations, but the one we frequent is located at 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, (323) 603-2400. Hours do vary by location, so please consult with their site before heading out.
Located in Koreatown, Blipsy has quite a similar vibe to EightyTwo LA, but with a bit more grunge. The only way you really know you’re in the right spot is by the giant Pac-man painted out front. They have a great classic collection of games, and even a Jukebox to throw those extra quarters in if they don’t have a live DJ in the back. Drink specials do vary, but on a good day, you can snag a pretty boozy drink for about $5. Not so bad compared to what other barcades have on the menu!
Blipsy Bar is located at 369 N Western Ave. in Koreatown, (323) 461-7067. Mon-Sat., 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Sundays, noon to 2 a.m.
Shatto 39 Lanes
It’s almost a stereotype that most bowling alleys will have a few arcade games off to the side or in the back room somewhere, and it is more than often not true. However, Shatto 39 has a few more things going for it other than just a Centipede machine or two hidden in the back. They have a nice variety of the classics, and additionally cheap drink specials and a cute little concession stand. Shatto 39 is definitely a great place to spend a quiet afternoon or go on a date without breaking the bank.
Shatto 39 Lanes is located at 3255 W. 4th St. in Koreatown, (213) 385-9475. Sun.-Thurs., 10 a.m. to 2 a.m., Fri. & Sat., 10 a.m. to 3 a.m.
Speaking of bowling alleys that have charming arcades, XLanes definitely takes that classic idea and throws it over the top in a Dave & Busters styled venture. The only thing that brings XLanes into the 21st century is that games are not played with quarters, and instead with preloaded cards.
XLanes has a variety of locations in the Los Angeles County area which all have different hours of operation on a day to day basis. Please consult with their site prior to visiting any location.
Pins & Needles
Have a pinball addiction? Pins & Needles has you covered. There are 24 machines, predominantly dating between 1970 – 1980. Owner Molly Atkinson, who is also involved in Eighty Two, says that these older games can’t take the abuse of newer games, so you won’t find the same crowds as the arcade bars. “PNN is frequented more specifically by ‘pinheads’ searching out the old electromechanical and early solid states,” she told LAist. She says some people even fly to L.A. just to check out the old games.
Pins and Needles is located at 1623 Allesandro St. in Echo Park. Email/text ahead for hours.