Photos: EightyTwo Brings Nostalgic Arcade Machines & Hip Drinks To Arts District
When you walk into EightyTwo, the Arts District's newest arcade bar, you can't help but feel like you're in a candy store—but for adults. After all, this bar is structured around making products of the 80s feel nostalgic with its collection of sweet vintage arcade machines. But at the same time it feels like a hip yet casual spot for grown-ups.
EightyTwo, which opens its doors on March 21, has games like Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga, Street Fighter 2 and Mortal Kombat planted in its 4,000-square-foot building designed by Sci-Arc architect Darin Johnstone. There are two arcade rooms with one of them housing pinball machines helmed by Echo Park's Pins N Needles' owner Molly Atkinson (who is EightyTwo's manager and resident technician). In between the two rooms is a courtyard shaded by trees.
A DJ booth aptly shaped like a prop out of a video game sits in one room, a spot DJs Waldo Rules and Them Jeans will be spinning during EightyTwo's opening night. Above the bar you can see live projections of games being played; it's a spectator sport for arcade aficionados.
The bar is the brainchild of childhood friends Noah Sutcliffe and Scott Davids, who have been passionate about video games since they were kids. Sutcliffe hopes that people can visit the bar with friends or feel like they can even meet someone cool there going solo.
"I hope people discover something they like that they didn't know they were into before," Sutcliffe tells LAist.
And indeed folks might find themselves throwing in some quarters in the machines, chilling out in the courtyard, listening to some tunes, or even sampling their creative cocktails. Billy Ray, who is the barman behind the drinks menu at Culver City's Blind Barber, is using his extensive knowledge creating cocktails at EightyTwo. Going with the theme of the bar, the names of the libations give a nod to arcade games with drinks like Zangief, Princess Peach and Power Up.
Ray's take on drinks is making sure classic cocktails get a twist using fresh Californian ingredients and high-quality spirits. For example, their 82 Pimm's Cup uses the respected Fords Gin and the n00b, a concoction of vodka, lemongrass, lemon, honey and apple juice gets the addition of bee pollen from a locally-sourced farmer's market. And to bring his mixologist sensibilities in the mix, he'll have his knowledgeable bartenders instead of cocktail waitresses going around and taking orders from patrons so they can give everyone the 411 on drinks.
And we highly suggest you try his P.O.W. drink, a spiked and refreshing Thai iced tea, while you play some NBA Jam. Who knows? Your game could get projected on the wall if you score high enough.
EightyTwo is located at 707 E. 4th Place in downtown, (213) 626-8200. It's open Tuesdays through Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., Fridays from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., Saturdays and Sundays from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m., and closed on Mondays.