Do you like to knock back a cold one while you aim for a high score? Or do you want a competitive edge against your liquor-loving friends? Phoenix boasts several bars that offer video games — or arcades that offer drinks, depending on your perspective.
Note that we aren’t going to cover Dave & Buster’s, Main Event or Uptown Alley in Surprise. These do offer full arcades and a bar, plus bowling and laser tag. However, as fun as they are, the crowd averages under 18. Also, the games are newer, and we like more nostalgia in our gaming.
A microbrewery in Avondale, 8-Bit Aleworks lives up to its retro name. The tasting room offers arcade cabinets, classic consoles and tabletop games. Even the continually rotating selection of specialty brews carry gaming names like the Black Mage, Hopsassin’s Creed, Legend of Zymur and 1 Player Pale Ale.
There’s no food menu, but you can bring in your own snacks. Food trucks are also occasionally in the area.
Where: 1050 N. Fairway Dr., Building F Ste. 101, Avondale
Monday-Thursday: 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday: Noon to 10 p.m.
Sunday: Noon to 8 p.m.
More info: www.8-bitaleworks.com
Bonus Round Phoenix
Billed as “The Only Nerd Hub In Phoenix,” Bonus Round offers 20 free-to-play classic arcade games. These include Mortal Kombat, NBA Jam, Ms. Pac Man, Joust, Galaga and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. In addition, there’s plenty of room for tabletop gaming.
On the refreshment side, you can order specialty cocktails, a range of drinks on draft or from the bottle, and wine. Many of the drink names reveal the establishments geeky origins, including the Poison Ivy, Power Flower, Barrel Roll and Full Restore. A selection of gamer-friendly food is also available.
The bar hosts open-mic nights, multiple trivia nights and book/comic discussion nights. It also sits next door to All About Books and Comics.
Where: 24 W. Camelback Rd., Phoenix
Monday-Thursday: 4 p.m. to Midnight
Friday-Saturday: 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Sunday: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
More info: www.bonusroundphx.com
Cobra Arcade Bar
A selection of 40 arcade games await you at Cobra Arcade Bar. You can mash away on Centipede, Dig Dug, Frogger, Q-Bert, Spy Hunter, X-Men, Super Mario Bros. and plenty more classics.
There are 14 beers on tap, a range of canned beer and specialty cocktails. The cocktails include The Princess Peach, RyuKen, Dirk the Daring and 1up. You can also order a range of wine and non-alcoholic energy drinks.
Where: 801 N. 2nd St., #100, Phoenix
When: Daily, 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.
More info: cobraarcadebar.com
The Grid: Games and Growlers
Walk into The Grid and you enter a world of pinball, retro and modern consoles, arcade games, pool, foosball, computer gaming tournaments, board games and plenty more. It also hosts the only Killer Queen 10-player arcade game in the Valley.
In addition to the eclectic gaming atmosphere, you can order a range of beers, ales and flavored shots. An extensive menu of snacks, meals and desserts round out the experience.
Events take place weekly from Monday night RockBand karaoke to 8-bit Comedy Night, Trivia Tuesday, dance nights and concerts.
Where: 525 S. Gilbert Rd., Mesa
Monday: 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Tuesday-Sunday: Noon to 2 a.m.
More info: www.facebook.com/thegridgg
Tilt Studio – Retro Lounge
OK, Tilt Studio more-or-less competes with Dave & Buster’s and Main Event, which we excluded at the beginning. However, this game center does offer one difference.
On the second floor, Tilt Studio hosts the Retro Lounge. This offers a range of classic pinball and arcade machines like Space Invaders and Pac-Man. Right next to it you will find the Taproom Bar.
Where: 5000 Arizona Mills Circle, Suit #669, Tempe
Monday-Thursday: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
More info: tiltstudio.com
– Justin Ferris, Phoenix.org