MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — From pinball to Pac-Man, arcades are making a comeback.
You will find the new Up-Down Minneapolis arcade bar in Uptown. There, the present looks a lot like the past.
“Even the artwork is just from stuff from the 80s and 90s,” assistant manager Eric Harvey said. “You got Tyson-Holyfield over there. You got the thing from ‘The NeverEnding Story.'”
But the main attraction is the games: “Pac-Man,” “Defender,” and all the way up to the newest five-on-five cabinet game — “Killer Queen.”
We found a crew of rowdy regulars spending their tokens and their time at Up-Down. We asked Eden Prairie native Dexter Chacko, 26, how much he loves the place.
“To be honest, probably too much, probably too much if I’m being perfectly honest,” Chacko said.
Michelle Lutz is also a frequent patron.
“There’s games, there’s beer and there’s pizza,” Lutz said. “What more could I want with an evening?”
Beer buff Eric Harvey helped open Up-Down. The first location was in a basement in Des Moines, Iowa — an idea the three owners thought might be fun.
“It was just kind of like, ‘Hey, we don’t really know what we’re doing, we’re going to go there, put a bunch of arcade games in, get a bunch of craft beer on tap,’ and it just took off, it was great,” Harvey said. “A year-and-a-half later, Kansas City happened and then now we’re here.”
Up-Down in Uptown is their third location, and has been a success since they opened their doors in June.
Aside from the obvious 25-cents-a-pop games, the arcade has 50 craft beers on tap, homemade pizza by the slice and free life-sized Jenga and Connect Four. They even have a six-pack-fanny-pack token special.
“It’s like a play place for adults, and there’s something really cool about that,” Chacko said.
And it is not just about playing; it is about re-playing some special parts of life.
“People will come in and like, ‘Oh, my mom used to take me to the arcade and I used to play this game all the time,’ just get super excited about it, just the nostalgic feeling of it,” Harvey said.
It is a place where the memories are resurrected and made at the exact same time.
This place celebrates the kid in you, but it is an arcade for adults. You cannot bring your kids unless they are 21 or older.