Arcade Adventures: Exploring St. Louis’ Thriving Arcade Bar Scene

Discover the best St. Louis arcade bar spots. Enjoy unique games, craft beers, and vibrant nightlife in St. Louis' thriving arcade bar scene!

Discover St. Louis’ Thrilling Arcade Bar Scene

St. Louis’ arcade bar culture is an exciting blend of nostalgic games, vibrant nightlife, and delicious eats. Whether you’re a pinball wizard, dance-off champ, or just love a good cocktail, the St. Louis arcade bar scene has something for everyone. Here’s a quick overview:

  • Best Arcade Bars: Up-Down STL, Silver Ballroom, Start Bar STL, The Armory STL
  • Top Features: Craft beers, unique games, vibrant atmosphere, friendly staff
  • Special Attractions: Pinball, skee-ball, classic arcade games, Nintendo 64, life-size Jenga
  • Food Options: House-made pizza, craft cocktails, extensive beer selection

I’m Adam Degraide, a digital marketing expert with a passion for arcade culture. I’ve explored the St. Louis arcade bar scene extensively and am excited to share my insights. Join me as we dive into everything that makes these spots a must-visit!

Top attractions of St. Louis arcade bars: pinball, skee-ball, craft beers, vibrant atmosphere, extensive beer selection, and more - st louis arcade bar infographic brainstorm-6-items

The Best St. Louis Arcade Bars

Up-Down STL

Up-Down STL is a gem in the St. Louis arcade bar scene. This spot features over 60 classic arcade games from the ’80s and ’90s, pinball machines, four skee-ball alleys, and even Nintendo 64 console gaming. All games cost just 25 cents, making it a budget-friendly option for endless fun.

But it’s not just about the games. Up-Down STL offers an extensive craft beer selection, house-made pizza by the slice, and unique toppings. Their family hours, held on a Sunday each month, welcome all ages from 10 am to 2 pm. This makes it a great spot for family outings as well.

Hours:
– Monday – Friday: 3:00pm – 1:30am
– Saturday – Sunday: 11:00am – 1:30am

Up-Down STL arcade - st louis arcade bar

Silver Ballroom

The Silver Ballroom is a unique blend of punk rock and pinball. This bar is known for its collection of pinball machines and its punk rock atmosphere. Located in a cozy spot, it has become a favorite for those who love good music and classic pinball.

The Silver Ballroom also offers a selection of craft beers and cocktails, making it a great place to relax and enjoy some games. The friendly staff and vibrant atmosphere add to the charm, making it a must-visit for arcade enthusiasts.

Silver Ballroom pinball - st louis arcade bar

Start Bar STL

Start Bar STL offers a modern twist on the classic arcade bar. With a variety of arcade games, pinball machines, and even a few VR setups, it’s a spot that caters to both nostalgic gamers and those looking for new experiences.

The food and drink options are top-notch, with a menu that includes gourmet pizzas, craft cocktails, and a wide selection of beers. The atmosphere is lively, making it perfect for a night out with friends or a fun date spot.

Start Bar STL interior - st louis arcade bar

The Armory STL

The Armory STL is a massive entertainment complex covering 250,000 square feet. It’s not just an arcade bar; it’s a hub of activities including live music, sports, and a variety of games. The historical significance of the building adds to its charm, having once housed the 138th Infantry Missouri National Guard Armory.

The Armory STL features a wide range of arcade games, pinball machines, and other entertainment options. It’s a great place for large groups or events, offering plenty of space and activities to keep everyone entertained.

The Armory STL exterior - st louis arcade bar

These St. Louis arcade bars offer a mix of nostalgia, fun, and modern entertainment. Whether you’re looking to relive the ’80s arcade era or try out new gaming experiences, there’s something for everyone in these top spots. Up next, we’ll explore what makes a great St. Louis arcade bar, from craft beers to unique games and vibrant atmospheres.

What Makes a Great St. Louis Arcade Bar?

A great St. Louis arcade bar isn’t just about the games. It’s a blend of several key elements that create an unforgettable experience. Here are the essentials:

Craft Beers

Craft beers are a staple in St. Louis arcade bars. Many places, like 4 Hands Brewing, offer a wide selection of local brews. Whether you prefer a hoppy IPA or a smooth stout, there’s something for every beer lover. The variety keeps the drinks as exciting as the games.

Unique Games

Unique games set the best arcade bars apart. At Up-Down STL, you can play over 60 classic arcade games from the ’80s and ’90s. They also have pinball machines, skee-ball alleys, and even Nintendo 64 console gaming. This mix of old and new games ensures everyone finds something they love.

Vibrant Atmosphere

The atmosphere in a top-notch arcade bar is electric. Picture this: neon lights, retro music, and the sounds of arcade machines. Places like City Museum are not just about games; they offer a full sensory experience. A lively DJ, like the one mentioned in the review above, can turn a fun night into an unforgettable one.

Friendly Staff

Friendly staff can make or break your visit. A great arcade bar has employees who are passionate about games and customer service. They help create a welcoming environment where everyone feels at home. As one reviewer noted, “The DJ was killing it the night I was here, and she MADE my weekend in St. Louis.”

In summary, the best St. Louis arcade bars combine craft beers, unique games, a vibrant atmosphere, and friendly staff to create a perfect night out. Up next, we’ll dive into the special features that make these bars stand out even more.

St. Louis Arcade Bar Special Features

Unique Games and Attractions

St. Louis arcade bars are packed with a variety of games and attractions that cater to all tastes. Pinball machines are a staple, offering a nostalgic throwback to the golden age of arcades. Whether you’re a pinball wizard or a newbie, these machines provide endless entertainment.

Another classic is skee-ball. With four classic alleys available at places like Up-Down STL, you can challenge friends to see who can rack up the highest score. It’s a simple but addictive game that never gets old.

For fans of retro gaming, classic arcade games from the ’80s and ’90s are plentiful. Titles like Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and Galaga are just a few of the many options you’ll find. Each game costs just 25 cents, making it easy to play your favorites without breaking the bank.

If you’re into console gaming, you’ll be thrilled to find Nintendo 64 setups. These consoles, often connected to giant projector screens, let you relive the excitement of games like Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros.

For something a bit different, try life-size Jenga and Connect Four. These oversized versions of the classic games add a fun twist and are perfect for group play.

Food and Drink Options

Arcade bars in St. Louis don’t just offer games; they also have fantastic food and drink options to keep you fueled. A standout feature is the house-made pizza. Crafted with in-house dough and high-quality toppings, these 18-inch pizzas can feed 3-5 people. It’s a perfect option for sharing with friends.

When it comes to drinks, the options are just as impressive. Many bars boast an extensive beer selection, featuring craft beers from local breweries as well as a variety of bottles and cans. Whether you prefer a hoppy IPA or a smooth stout, there’s something for every beer lover.

If cocktails are more your style, you’ll find plenty of craft cocktails to choose from. These bars pride themselves on their creative drink menus, offering unique concoctions that you won’t find anywhere else.

In short, St. Louis arcade bars offer a winning combination of unique games and delicious food and drinks. Whether you’re there for the pinball, the pizza, or the craft beer, you’re in for a great time.

Next, we’ll look at how these arcade bars cater to families and groups with special hours and event packages.

Family and Group Activities at St. Louis Arcade Bars

Family-Friendly Hours

Arcade bars in St. Louis aren’t just for adults. Many offer special family-friendly hours, making them perfect for a day out with the kids. For example, Up-Down STL hosts family hours on the first Sunday of each month from 10am to 2pm. During these hours, all ages are welcome to enjoy the classic arcade games, skee-ball alleys, and Nintendo 64 console gaming. It’s a great way to introduce the younger generation to the joys of arcade gaming.

Upcoming family hours at Up-Down STL:
– April 7
– May 5
– June 2
– July 7
– Aug 4
– Sept 1

Group Events and Parties

Arcade bars in St. Louis are also fantastic venues for group events. Whether you’re planning a team-building event, a birthday party, or a bachelor/bachelorette party, these venues offer customized packages to fit your needs.

Team Building

Want to boost team morale? Arcade bars offer a fun and relaxed environment for team-building activities. With a variety of games and activities, employees can bond over friendly competition, making it a memorable experience for everyone involved.

Birthday Parties

Celebrate your special day with a blast from the past. Arcade bars like Up-Down STL provide everything you need for an unforgettable birthday party. From classic arcade games to house-made pizza, your guests will have a great time.

Bachelor(ette) Parties

Looking for a unique way to celebrate your last night of freedom? Arcade bars offer a mix of nostalgia and excitement. Customize your event with drink packages, exclusive game access, and even themed decorations to make the night extra special.

Customized Packages

No two groups are the same, and St. Louis arcade bars understand that. They offer a range of options from budget-friendly to extravagant, ensuring that your event is tailored to your specific needs. Whether you need a small table or want to rent out the entire venue, you can create an experience that your guests will talk about for years to come.

In summary, St. Louis arcade bars provide a variety of activities and packages to suit families and groups of all sizes. From family-friendly hours to customized event packages, there’s something for everyone.

Frequently Asked Questions about St. Louis Arcade Bars

What is the nicest area of St. Louis for arcade bars?

When it comes to arcade bars, St. Louis has a few standout neighborhoods:

  • Central West End: Known for its vibrant nightlife and trendy atmosphere, this area is perfect for anyone looking to enjoy a night out. The Central West End offers a mix of upscale bars and casual hangouts, making it a great spot for arcade enthusiasts.

  • The Hill: Famous for its rich Italian heritage, The Hill is not just about great food. It’s also home to some fantastic bars where you can enjoy a game of bocce or shuffleboard. This tight-knit community offers a unique blend of culture and entertainment.

  • Soulard: This historic neighborhood is known for its lively bar scene and annual Mardi Gras celebration. Soulard features several bars with arcade games, making it a popular destination for both locals and visitors.

Are there any arcade bars suitable for large groups or parties?

Absolutely! St. Louis has several arcade bars that cater to large groups and parties:

  • Main Event – Chesterfield: This venue is perfect for large gatherings. With a variety of activities like arcade games, laser tag, bowling, and more, it offers something for everyone. They even have wristbands that provide access to multiple activities, making it a great value for group events.

  • Up-Down STL: Located in the heart of St. Louis, Up-Down STL is designed to accommodate groups of all sizes. They offer customizable event packages that can include anything from a small table reservation to renting out the entire venue. With over 60 arcade games, skee-ball alleys, and a wide selection of craft beers, it’s an ideal spot for parties.

What unique games can be found in St. Louis arcade bars?

St. Louis arcade bars offer a variety of unique games that cater to different tastes:

  • Pinball: Many bars feature classic pinball machines, allowing you to enjoy this timeless game.

  • Skee-Ball: Skee-ball alleys are a common sight in St. Louis arcade bars, providing fun for all ages.

  • Classic Arcade Games: From Pac-Man to Donkey Kong, you’ll find a wide range of classic arcade games that bring back nostalgic memories.

  • VR Technology: While not as common, some places like Main Event offer virtual reality games that provide a modern twist to the traditional arcade experience.

  • Life-Size Jenga and Connect Four: For something a bit different, places like Up-Down STL offer oversized versions of these popular games, adding a fun and interactive element to your night out.

St. Louis arcade bars truly have something for everyone, whether you’re a fan of classic games or looking to try something new.

Conclusion

At BambamTastic Games, we believe in creating immersive gaming experiences that bring joy and excitement to everyone. From classic arcade games to innovative puzzle adventures, our mission is to offer fun for all ages.

St. Louis’s thriving arcade bar scene embodies this spirit. Venues like Up-Down STL and Silver Ballroom offer a mix of nostalgic and modern games that cater to diverse tastes. Whether you’re enjoying a night out with friends or planning a family-friendly event, St. Louis arcade bars provide the perfect backdrop for memorable experiences.

Our own Puzzle Restaurant Empire is designed with the same passion. We blend engaging puzzles with the fun of managing a virtual restaurant, delivering a unique gaming experience. Just as St. Louis arcade bars create a vibrant atmosphere with great food and drinks, we aim to create immersive worlds where players can lose themselves in fun and creativity.

In conclusion, if you’re looking to explore the best of St. Louis arcade bars or dive into our puzzle restaurant games, there’s an adventure waiting for you. Join us at BambamTastic Games and discover why we are committed to making every gaming moment special.

For more information about our games and experiences, visit BambamTastic Games.

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