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Sneak Peek: Brewcadia

This might will date me, but my first angels-singing-from-the-heavens experience I had with an arcade game was with Midway's "Sea Wolf". Peering my eyes through a fairly realistic (to a pre-teen kid, anyway) periscope sighting, my pulse hastened with each whoosh of the launched torpedo, the rhythmic tolling of sea bells (well, electronic pulses anyway) and the "thoom" that meant another sunken surface ship. I took pride in knocking off the speedy and tiny PT boat at its farthest distance, whipping my scope around to the other side with a loud thunk to get ahead of it and shooting blindly. More often than not, that marauding pest would hurtle smack dab into my LCD-enhanced streak of death.

That game was one of many in this era of modern-day arcade games. Starting with the groundbreaking "Pong" in 1972, these machines have become more sophisticated over the years, and are now in their fourth decade of providing entertainment to several generations of fun-seekers. Brewcadia, the bar/arcade hybrid that started by venerable Columbus brewpub Barley's Brewing Company, is the latest Columbus-area venue to offer this option to the public at large.

During a sneak peek event on Wednesday, I got to have a little fun knocking the rust off my arcade game skills and speak with our host for the night, Barley's Brewing General Manager Jason Fabian. Fabian mentioned that while Barley's had always been a destination hangout to grab a beer and a meal, folks generally filtered away from the brewpub in the evening hours to hang elsewhere. Receiving input and help from numerous sources, including the folks at downtown's 16-Bit Bar+Arcade, Brewcadia was developed out of what had been mainly an upstairs storage area.

Fabian added that the 30 arcade games you will find at any one time will span across the years, with new games rotating in regularly. All arcade games are free as long as you are purchasing a beer; pinball is also available, but due to the cost of maintenance, patrons will be required to plunk down quarters to play those machines. Also in a nod to a bygone era, a single Skee-ball machine is located at the far end of the room to test out your rolling wood balls into tiny holes skills.

Arcade-style games are not the only option at Brewcadia either; Fabian said that similar to other breweries around the area, a small selection of board games that also span the years would also be available for the bar/arcade's patrons.

On the bar side of things, Brewcadia sports 40 craft beer drafts, including many local Columbus and Ohio-based breweries. Food from the downstairs restaurant will be available for ordering and eating by the patrons of this bar/arcade; however, Fabian stated that a pizza kitchen exclusive to the upstairs space would be also available. If the pizza proves to be popular, other items such as sub sandwiches could be added in the future.

Brewcadia is set to open its doors to the public on St. Patrick's Day, March 17th, with initial operating hours set from 4 PM to 2 AM.

467 N High St. (Downtown - Google Maps)
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 228-8831
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