Opening it's doors on August 30th of last year, 16-Bit Bar + Arcade is a new bar in downtown Columbus that offers great drinks and free arcade games. I checked it out with friends last month and had a great time! 16-Bit is located on 4th street, right next to Dirty Frank's Hot Dog Palace. Since 16-Bit does not serve food, we grabbed dinner at Dirty Frank's before checking out 16-Bit (you can also take your hot dog and fries over to 16-Bit!).
The House Rules are as follows:
- You drink you play for free
- No game hogging
- Respect the console
- No crying to the bartender if you lose
- Winner stays and loser walks
- Relive your childhood but don't act like a child
- Don't just win - CONQUER!
Unfortunately my gaming skills are non-existent, so instead of conquering I managed to consistently get past level one only to die on level two for all of these games: Donkey Kong, Super Mario Bros., PacMan, The Simpsons, Ninja Mutant Turtles and Frogger. I still haven't beat Super Mario Land on my Game Boy, so I wasn't really surprised by my performance. It was still fun to check out the games and soak up the carefree atmosphere of the bar.
All of the current arcade games are listed on 16-Bit's website, they are organized by which games are on the floor or in the back of the bar. You can click on an individual game, say Donkey Kong Junior, and be directed to the website for The International Arcade Museum for background information on the game.
The games, which were bought on Craigslist and in secondhand shops, have handy pedestals next to them for your drink. The pedestals match the bar's modern design, it's not dark and dingy like the arcades I remember visiting as a kid.
The old school cocktails are named for male celebrities and the new wave cocktails are named for female celebrities of 1980s fame. We tried the Molly Ringwald (cucumber vodka, grapefruit, syrup, Sprite with a salted rim), the Brooke Shields (vodka, white cranberry, lemon, lime and Sprite) and the Tawny Kitaen (vodka, blue curacao, pineapple, lemon, lime and Sprite). I had the Molly Ringwald, which was a little too cucumber-y for me, but I loved the grapefruit! All of the drinks were pretty!
In addition to mixed drinks, 16-Bit also carries small batch bourbon, and bottled, canned and craft beers. There are weekly specials on drinks like Tiger Beat Thursday when new wave cocktails are $2 off and Sunday Funday when craft drafts are $2 off.
Be sure to check 16-Bit Bar + Arcade soon! It's a totally tubular place!