Versus Arcade Bar Opens This Week in Downtown Crossing

Check out the menu, then pair "Flamin' Hot" onion rings and "Pac-Man" pizzas with retro video games.

a spread of food at Versus Restaurant, Arcade, Bar menu Boston

Photos provided by Versus

The hospitality group that’s arguably reinventing Boston’s nightlife scene is getting in on the nostalgia-inducing trend of arcade bars. Versus, a restaurant packed with retro video games, pinball machines, and table games and the latest from Big Night Entertainment Group, opens Thursday in Downtown Crossing.

Big Night Entertainment is also behind the Grand, Scorpion Bar, and Empire in the Seaport; Red Lantern in the Back Bay; Theater District café Explorateur, and further-flung venues at Patriot Place and Foxwoods. The hospitality group announced in September that it was converting downtown nightclub Gem into a “retro-modern” arcade and restaurant.

The makeover features ’80s-inspired, pop art murals by local artist Dirty DEK; plus wall-mounted LED TVs and a booming sound system. The 241-seat-space houses a slew of vintage-y video games, like Mortal Kombat, Ninja Turtles, and Aerosmith Pinball; Skee-Ball; tabletop classic Connect Four, and more, plus popular games for consoles like XBOX and Nintendo Switch. Check out the full list of games below.

Alongside a full bar, Versus serves up snacks like cheesesteak spring rolls; “Flamin’ Hot” onion rings; and a jumbo pretzel with Cheez Whiz and honey mustard. It also offers burgers, including the plant-based Impossible Burger; “Pac-Man” pizzas; cheesy tots; and more playful fare from BNEG executive chef Kevin Scott.

The new arcade bar joins Cambridge’s A4cade and Salem’s Bit Bar among Greater Boston’s burger-and-cocktail-fueled gaming dens. As Eater Boston has noted, it’s also part of a growing scene of bars as adult-friendly entertainment venues, such as Lucky Strike, Kings Dining and Entertainment locations, Flatbread Company’s candlepin bowling lanes, and the forthcoming onslaught of ax-throwing bars.

Versus will be open daily from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Friday; 5 p.m.-1 a.m. Saturday; and 12 p.m.-8 p.m. on Sundays. It debuts Thursday, Oct. 11 at noon.

42 Province St., Boston, 617-482-1213,

a soft pretzel and a hamburger and crinkle fries in a retro lunchbox at Versus in Boston

Photos provided by Versus


▪ Frogger
▪ Mortal Kombat
▪ Golden Tee
▪ Donkey Kong
▪ Centipede
▪ Mrs. Pacman
▪ Time Pilot
▪ Outrun
▪ Galaga
▪ Cruisin Exotica
▪ Big Buck Hunter
▪ Crazy Taxi
▪ Ninja Turtles
▪ NBA 2k19
▪ Madden 19
▪ FIFA 19


▪ Mario Kart


▪ Pinbot
▪ Star Wars
▪ Guardians of the Galaxy
▪ Flip a Card
▪ Aerosmith
▪ Iron Maiden ▪ Ships Ahoy
▪ Strike Master


▪ Ice Ball/Skee Ball
▪ Hoop Fever
▪ Dynamo Air Hockey
▪ Connect 4
▪ Shuffleboard
▪ Premier Crane
▪ Fortune Teller
▪ Jenga