On October 16th, the den of beer and video games that is Barcade celebrated its fourth anniversary. Claudia Delmairo, the bartender on duty that day, said there was a really good turnout, and “a lot of grilling, a lot of wonderful beers.” It makes sense that Barcade has weathered the fickle bar climate for four years. It wouldn’t be surprising if they’re around for at least another four: they have it down to a science. Good beer + classic arcade games = a good time for all.
You wouldn’t expect a bar lined with scrappy old video games like Kegger (Frogger re-imagined as a bartender who has to run up and down a bar filling orders) and Asteroids to have a long and rotating menu of American microbrews. But a good beer menu and a great collection of old games are both rare enough alone, and together they attract a crowd.
“There’re a lot of regulars,” Delmairo said. “A lot of them come for the games, a lot of them come for the beer, and a lot come for both.”
Delmairo said there isn’t any unifying theme to the bar’s menu, except that all the beers are American. The owners take pride in having greater diversity among their American beers than among imports.
The rarest beer currently available at Barcade is the Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron. A quick tasting left me and the other tasters arguing about whether the flavor is more like maple syrup or beef jerky, and the heaviness made me only want a few sips. “Yeah,” Delmairo agreed. “That beer is for someone special.”
A still unusual but easier to appreciate beer was the McNeil Champ ale. It was light and refreshing, but not summery like a Hefewiezen or Blue Moon. It was more crisp and amber, an autumn-tasting beer. For another autumn pick, I recommend the Captain Lawrence Pumpkin ale. It was pumpkin pie and vanilla tasting without being too sweet or sugary.
But even if you’re more in the mood for a Bud Light, Barcade will still use up your laundry quarters in a quick game of Ms. Pacman. Stop by for a visit, but there’s no rush: Barcade isn’t going anywhere.