Arcadia hopes to combine beer and video games in a new venue

Ellen Spahn

Posted on April 21, 2014 in Arts & Culture
By matthewdonovan

Coming in June there may  be a place where games and beer come together for the people of Portland.

Arcadia National Bar is looking to light up 24 Preble St. with its pixelated colors and ambery brews. With the assistance of the crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter.com, the bar’s owners Dave Aceto and Ben Culver hope to get this nostalgia inducing bar up and running soon.

“There isn’t a whole lot to do in Portland that isn’t just focused on drinking or eating,” said Aislinn Murphy, an incoming education and history major. “A fun game place for adults and it has yummy New England beer? Count me in.”

According to Arcadia’s owners, they aim to satisfy the city’s niche nerd culture. “We embrace nerd culture because, like us, so many people in Portland do too,” said Aceto.  “Between classic arcades, pinball, board games, tournaments and special events, you’re guaranteed to find a good time along side a great local beer or gaming themed cocktail.” There are also plans to sell food, with a focus on grilled cheese, again catering to our inner child.

Aceto said that they plan to have at least a dozen pinball games and another dozen old school arcade titles. Visitors can expect to play classics like Q*Bert, Arkanoid, Street Fighter II, Simpsons, X-Men, NBA Jam and Pole Position. A playthrough will cost you 50 cents, and scores will reset each month after a tournament style competition among the participants with the highest points.

“Having all of those features change the mood and the atmosphere immensely,” said Sarah Kennedy a junior theater major. “Instead of having a dark and dingy bar to go to, there is a fun, light and happy place. It markets to our inner child.”

According to Kennedy, many of the bars in the city offer few alternative forms of entertainment to those who don’t want to drink, but still want to hit the town at night.

“It takes out the pressure of drinking, and allows the friends who may not want to drink to also have a fun time,” said Kennedy.

There has been some skepticism about the owners’ ability to actually follow through with the creation of the bar because they initially hadn’t acquired a liquor license. However according to Aceto, this obstacle has been overcome.

“This bar is happening. We’ve got leases signed, and we just got approved for a liquor license by the city,” said Aceto.

Some controversy may have also been sparked because Arcadia will be taking the place of another bar and local favorite: Slainte. Many are sad to see this local wine bar, quesadilla spot and host for local music go, despite the fact that Arcadia may be taking its place.

“I have fuzzy memories of many good times there,” said Jacob Waxler, a Portland resident. “Truly a loss.”

So far Arcadia’s owners have raised $7,847 out of their $25,000 goal, which is set to help with some of the start up costs.

“The way we see it, we’re the only game in town,” said Acerto.