Call it the bar for the kid in you.
Barcadia Bar & Grill has finally opened its Fort Worth outpost, across the street from Tim Love's Love Shack in the So7 development. (There are a handful of other Barcadia locations, including one on North Henderson Avenue in Dallas.) Although the space won't hold its official grand opening until mid-September, according to management, Barcadia went the "soft open" route last weekend.
The concept is simple: Video games unearthed from the mists of memory ( Paperboy! Galaga! Frogger! Q*Bert!) coupled with a smart, sizable selection of craft beers -- think the homegrown Rahr, Magic Hat and Louisiana export Abita -- and the fun vibe of a Chuck E. Cheese's, just with fewer rugrats running around.
The arcade games are a mere quarter each to play (free on Tuesdays), and there are other delights: skeeball, pinball and even a super-size version of Jenga set up on the cozy patio.
"I like it," said first-weekend visitor John Obeidin of Fort Worth. "The best games are Star Wars and Tempest, in my opinion. [The] beer selection is awesome, kinda pricey ... but no more than Ginger Man. [I'm] really hoping they decide to expand to the second floor and add more games -- the more the better."
There's a sprawling selection of food as well: The menu includes Sunday brunch, along with staples like tacos, burgers and wings. Apart from the obvious draw of vintage arcade games, there are plenty of flat-screen TVs for all your sports-watching needs. (On a recent visit, the LSU-Oregon face-off kept several visitors occupied.) It's tempting to call Barcadia the man cave we've all been waiting for, but actually it's equally appealing to both sexes. On opening weekend, we saw plenty of couples competing at skeeball and taking turns at the Dolly Parton pinball game.
A few months ago, Lucky Strike brought the bowling-nightclub concept to the West 7th area. Barcadia and its retro games add another element to the grown-up playground. Tucked into the So7 development, Barcadia remains slightly hidden from view (the construction on West 7th doesn't help, either). But as far as we're concerned, that isn't a bad thing. That way no one will hog Ms. Pac-Man.