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7 Places Where Grown-Ups Can Play Video Games In Los Angeles
Just because you're an adult doesn't mean you have to stop hitting up the arcade. In fact, it only gets better because now you can drink at the arcade. Here are some of our favorite places in L.A. to drop a few quarters, sip a beer and level up.
Eighty Two (Photo by Jean Trinh/LAist)
EightyTwoThe Arts District's EightyTwo might be the hippest place on the list, with its craft cocktails, weekend DJ sets, sunny outdoor patio, and open, industrial feel. The games tend to be of the more classic variety, with a bank of pinball machines and titles like Street Fighter II, Joust and Galaga. Several of the cocktails have video game-inspired names, but all are sure to be delicious. We like the n00b for a refreshing drink on a hot day—vodka, lemongrass, lemon, bee pollen, honey and apple juice—or the P.O.W., a spiked Thai iced tea. They also have your more basic drinks and a decent beer selection, plus there's usually a food truck parked nearby if saving the digital planet makes you hungry.
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.
Blipsy Bar (Photo via Facebook)
Blipsy BarBlipsy Bar in Koreatown has a similar vibe as EightyTwo, but grungier. The bar has no signage, but you'll know you're in the right spot because the outside is painted like a Pac-Mac game. Inside, this dark bar is lined with classic video games. There's some sparse seating here and there, and it is decorated with the kind of stuffed animals you might win at a carnival. There are usually a few $4 and $5 drink specials written on the chalkboard, and if a DJ isn't set up in the back of the bar, you can put a few dollars in the jukebox and peruse their eclectic choices. Take heed, though: Blipsy Bar seems to always be pretty toasty inside, so wear layers you can remove!
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.
They don't have a lot of classic games at this high-tech arcade, but they do have this Battle Royale Pac Man (Photo via Facebook)
XLanes LAXLanes is a bowling alley tucked up on the third floor of the Tokyo Galleria in Little Tokyo. The arcade portion does not cater to classic games at all, but rather, a number of flashy, high-tech games. You can try out a simulated tour of a haunted mine, play a giant Connect Four, fight monsters on a touch screen game, or record yourself singing a karaoke song in a booth and purchase a CD to send to your agent or your mom. The games aren't played with quarters. Instead, you'll purchase a game card, which you can swipe at the machines you want to play. It'll keep track of your virtual tokens, and the virtual tickets you win will also go onto the card. Note: While you can drink here, you can't bring your drinks into the arcade, as this isn't a 21+ venue like some of our other spots.
XLanes is located at 333 S Alameda St #300 in Little Tokyo, (213) 229-8910. Mon.-Weds., 10:30 a.m. to midnight; Thurs., 10:30 a.m. to 1 a.m., Fri & Sat., 10 a.m. to 2 a.m., Sun., 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.
The signage lets you know you've come to the right place (Photo via Facebook)
The One UpThis bar opened up in September on busy Ventura Blvd., and it's unique in a couple of ways. First off, all of the games are free to paying customers, so save your quarters. And the games aren't simply a Pac-Man here, a Street Fighter there. Rather, each console is a classic arcade console, but has been programmed with hundreds of classic and unique games. Don't be surprised if your find dozens of games you never knew existed, like Hatris—a game where you stack hats, Tetris-style, on a row of men—or every concept imaginable using the Street Fighter engine (check out a staggering list of games here). While the arcades takes up the back of The One Up, the front is a dining area where you can try their unique fusion takes on comfort foot like the Cap'n Crunch chicken wings, the Southern Fried Chicken Bahn Mi or a trio of Kobe sliders. For drinks, they've got a decent list of craft beers, plus a number of creative cocktails like the Grown-Up Chocolate Milk (Sailor Jerry spiced rum, Tia Maria, low-fat milk, house creme de cacao, tangerine zest, whipped cream) and the Sadie Hawkins (Reyka vodka, hibiscus petal syrup, blueberries, Giffard orgeat, lemon). If you're looking for more standard drinks, One Up's daily happy hour is from 4 to 7 p.m. has $4 beers and $6 cocktails. And the decor is cool, too: there's a chandelier made out of desk lamps, quotes in neon, and a display above the bar made of tables and drawers hung from the ceiling. While The One Up doesn't have a traditional sign, look for the neon Space Invader and you'll know you've come to the right place.
The One Up is located at 13625 Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks, (818) 849-5181. Daily, noon to 2 a.m.
Pins and Needles
This one is not a bar, nor is it a bowling alley. And you might have guessed, this Echo Park haunt is only for playing pinball. There are 24 machines, predominantly from the '70s and '80s. 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 electromechanicals and early solid states," she told LAist. She says some people even fly to L.A. just to check out the old games.
The hours of Pins and Needles vary, but Atkinson generally opens the doors three or four nights a week. To see when the machines are available for play, first check the site. There's also a number you can text to see if the doors are open before you take off.
Pines and Needles is located at 1623 Allesandro St. in Echo Park. Email/text ahead for hours.
Get your Pac Man on at Shatto 39 Lanes (Photo via Facebook)
Shatto 39 LanesWhile most bowling alleys have a few games, XLanes and Shatto 39 seemed to be the most convenient alleys for those who'd rather game than bowl. Koreatown's Shatto 39 has a few things going for it: the drinks available at the bar are pretty cheap, they have a number of pool tables; there's a small concessions stand with greasy bar-type sustenance, plus a few vending machines. Then there are the games: mostly classic arcade games, but a couple of pinball tables, some newer driving games and some more modern shoot-em-up type games. You could reasonably spend a chill Sunday here on a low-key date or catch-up with friends and not spend too much money.
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.
Dave & Buster's (Photo via Facebook)
Dave & BustersDave & Buster's is more TGI Fridays than mom-and-pop arcade, but we still can't ignore the fact that they have a bevy of fun and updated video games. (This isn't your typical Pac-Man and pinball machines throwback kind of joint.) In addition to the Westchester and Arcadia locations, new to the family is the recently-opened Hollywood Dave & Buster's at Hollywood and Highland. You could easily lose yourself in the huge arcade for a few hours—especially since you can eat and get boozy there, too. The clientele at this location consists of a younger and hipper Hollywood variety. It also has some of the newer games out there, from a large collection of modern racing games (Mario Kart Grand Prix Deluxe edition!) to Dance Dance Revolution blasting new J-pop tunes and shoot 'em up arcades. They even have a shiny new Batmobile riding game and a Red Cup Challenge (which totally looks like a beer pong game minus the beer). But, hey, if you're more of a coin dozer type of player, you could also earn enough tickets to get yourself something cool, like a D&B shot glass or left-handed mug. They've also got half-off games on Wednesdays. —Jean Trinh
Dave & Buster's is located at 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, (323) 603-2400; 6081 Center Drive, Westchester, 310-846-9950; Westfield Santa Anita at 400 S Baldwin Ave., Suite #930-U, Arcadia, (626) 802-6115.