A Beer Bar and Arcade Could Be Coming to Boston
Creators of the 'Barcade' have been eyeing Boston for one of their next locations.
Four longtime friends who opened a series of bars that mix classic arcade video games with a variety of craft beers say they have been considering setting up shop in the Boston area sometime in the undetermined future.
Paul Kermizian, founder and co-operator of Barcade, literally a combination of a bar and an arcade, says the company would love to come to Massachusetts and find a location in or around Boston. â€śBoston is definitely a place thatâ€™s on the top of our listâ€”not the very topâ€”but in the next few cities we [open bars in], we would like to think of moving there,â€ť he says. â€śItâ€™s one of the places we have been watching the last few years. We havenâ€™t seen anyone do it in Boston. But we are a small company, so we are moving at our own pace.â€ť
The original Barcade started in Brooklyn in 2004 after Kermizian and friends were having drinks at his houseâ€”a place where a couple of classic games were set upâ€”when suddenly, â€śa light bulb went off.â€ť
â€śI had always talked about opening a bar, and I was a collector of classic games. They were popular when people would come over, and it was a fun combination that we hadnâ€™t seen before anywhere else,â€ť says Kermizian.Â Since they launched the initial bar in Brooklyn nine years ago, the company has since expanded to Philadelphia, Jersey City, and is in the midst of introducing a second New York location to Manhattan.
Barcade, which is a registered trademark so the company can corner the market and keep knock-offs from cropping up in cities with a similar play on the words, only serves American craft beer at each establishment, where they typically house anywhere from 30 to 40 video game machines, including PacMan and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles multi-player game.
Kermizian says itâ€™s the â€śnostalgiaâ€ť of the dated consoles that draw many people to the Barcades, while others merely come for the vast selection of drinks they have on tap. â€śWe get a very dedicated following of craft beer lovers, so some just come for the beer and donâ€™t even play the games. Others are dedicated to the games, and are serious gamers, and donâ€™t pay attention to the beer list,â€ť he says.Â And although it could take sometime before Boston sees anything like it, a little bit of Massachusetts has already made its way to Barcadeâ€™s New York and Philadelphia locationsâ€”Harpoon and Pretty Things are on draught.
Kermizian says the response to the Barcades has â€śbeen great,â€ť however, in each city he has run into issues with licensing in order to obtain permits for videos games inside of the drinking establishments, something that could also be difficult to figure out in a city like Boston. â€śWhen we met with officials in Jersey City, we had to meet with the planning office to have some rules changed, which was a bit of work. But they were very receptive to us. We had better success in Philadelphia, where rules were already in place,â€ť he says.
A call made to Bostonâ€™s licensing officials showed that in order to set up shop in the city, Barcade would need to seek approval for a beer-pouring permit from the Licensing Board, as well as an entertainment license for the games from the mayorâ€™s Office of Consumers Affairs. But that’s something the brains behind the Barcade scene havenâ€™t started digging into just quite yet. â€śEvery city has its own arcade laws and liquor license laws, which can be challenging in its own right, so itâ€™s not something we have even looked at it in terms of Boston yet,â€ť says Kermizian, adding they have even considered looking into locating a Barcade in Cambridge or Somerville instead.
But the potential permitting process isnâ€™t something that will scare them away from the area for good. â€śWe have a couple of other places in mind first, but Boston would probably be one of the next two or three after [Manhattan],â€ť he says.
Below are some more photos of the Barcade in Brooklyn:Â
Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/blog/2013/04/04/barcade-boston/