(Topic ID: 114193)

So Many Chicago Barcades


By radrats

5 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 77 posts
  • 33 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by valgalder
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders

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    Topic poll

    “What is your favorite pinball bar in Chicago?”

    • Emporium Logan Square 0 votes
    • Emporium Wicker Park 1 vote
      2%
    • Logan Arcade 40 votes
      80%
    • Headquarters Lakeview 3 votes
      6%
    • Headquarters River North 6 votes
      12%

    (50 votes by 0 Pinsiders)

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    There are 77 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
    #1 5 years ago

    Sorry if this is a repost, but to my knowledge there are a ton of Barcades in Chicago these days. There are at least 5 in Chicago proper. I'm not living in Chicago these days, so excuse if I forgot a couple... I probably did. Anyway, what is your favorite? I have no horse in this race, though I will say I've been to all except the 2nd Headquarters (River North). I know there are also a few good arcades like Galloping Ghost, but just keeping this poll to barcades. I'm curious what everyone thinks.

    #2 5 years ago

    Only one I've been to is Emporium. It's a nice place, but their games are really dim, and frankly hard to play because you just can't see the dang ball. I found that frustrating.

    The favorite from what I hear is Logan, but I haven't had a chance to get there yet on my Chicago trips.

    #3 5 years ago

    Logan Arcade seems to consistently have very good playing machines, which is why it got my vote. Though the couple weeks I was able to go there they had just opened... don't know if they have kept that up. Emporium 1 and Logan both have great beer lists too... though not sure if people are voting based on that. I also went to a fine-dining dinner at Emporium hosted by Buttermilk Bento that made me like them a lot. Something about having a nice dinner in a pinball arcade was very cool and unique.

    #4 5 years ago

    Logan's Hardware owner's cousin and I are members of the Chicago Ornithological Society together. We had an outing to LaBagh a few weeks ago and stopped at the bar for a drink afterwards. Really neat place with beautiful décor. Nothing like a game of Bad Cats after a bird watching trip!

    #5 5 years ago

    I expected Headquarters to get some love for the free games... guess not!

    #6 5 years ago

    I have never been to any of them. Just curious as to the ratio of pins to video games? If there are video games are they new stuff or classics like Defender and Missile Command? Thanks.

    #7 5 years ago

    Logan's is awesome!
    Best barcode I've been to in the states yet.

    #8 5 years ago

    There have been a few out here in AZ as well but I have yet to visit them. I did go to the Headquarters one in Chicago that has games on free play down stairs and then upstairs they move you for the last 1 or 2 they stay open. It was not bad but some games not in great condition. Oh well something different to do for a change.

    #9 5 years ago
    Quoted from John_I:

    I have never been to any of them. Just curious as to the ratio of pins to video games? If there are video games are they new stuff or classics like Defender and Missile Command? Thanks.

    Not sure about ratios but all of them have vintage stuff with the exception of Emporium 2, which does not have arcades. It's all table top games and pinball.

    #10 5 years ago

    Not even a contest, Logan all the way! Best games, best atmosphere...I think it's my favorite arcade bar on the planet. Though Blairally and CBar are not far behind.

    #11 5 years ago

    I went to a conference in Chicago this past summer. The conference was good, but the pinball was better. I was there three nights and got to hit up all three... Emporium on night 1, Logan's on night 2, and Headquarters on night 3. Here's my quick review:

    Emporium - more than just pins... lots of arcades, too. Darker atmosphere, as mentioned before, but that was also because I was there until midnight. Fairly priced games. I preferred this location/layout.

    Logan's - was underwhelmed when I first walked in, but realized there are two back rooms... one for arcades and one for pins. Again, darker atmosphere, but a good variety of games... both new and olde.

    Headquarters - free games. Yes, free games. But, here's the issue... people walk up, start a game, lose their ball, and walk away. So, you end up draining two balls just to start a fresh new game. Also, issues are impossible to find out ahead of time because a ball might get stuck and they walk away. But, free games were nice. When I was there, WOZ was available for $1/play, but the new Mustang was free.

    #12 5 years ago

    I would love to have the "too many barcades" problem in my town. The best location we have is 2 bowling alleys with 2 pins per. One has WOF and BBH, and the other has Sega Viper and ACDC. Of course the pins are in horrible shape and not worth the $.

    #13 5 years ago

    Anyone been to Headquarters 2? A quick look at their gamelist made me think it looked identical to their first spot.

    #14 5 years ago

    Are any of these more family friendly than others? I have a 15 year old that I often drag around with me when I go pinball roaming.

    #15 5 years ago

    Daytime at Headquarters allows for minors I believe.

    Edit: and their second location has a full kitchen.

    #16 5 years ago

    I would imagine Headquarters is going to be your only option; the other two don't really have any separation between their bar area and their game area.

    #17 5 years ago

    Looking at the websites, I answered my own question. Looks like they have loads of classic video games along with the pins. This is what I would have expected. Wish I had some places like that around here!

    #18 5 years ago

    Only been to Headquarters, and it is AWESOME. A+ for pins. The video selection is decent. A lot of 90s stuff. The Donkey Kong has a Pac Man joystick (as of last time I was there at least) which is a nitpick, but feels completely wrong...

    #19 5 years ago

    NYC has a couple of barcades (called, surprisingly, 'Barcade') and they are totally lame--no pins at all. OK, the one in Manhattan gets half a point for having Asteroids Deluxe--a full point when I break the high score.

    #20 5 years ago

    ^^^ I was at one by Katz' deli recently... They had TWD and something else (Mustang?)

    It was called two bits or 8 bits maybe?

    #21 5 years ago
    Quoted from Aeolus7:

    Only been to Headquarters, and it is AWESOME. A+ for pins. The video selection is decent. A lot of 90s stuff. The Donkey Kong has a Pac Man joystick (as of last time I was there at least) which is a nitpick, but feels completely wrong...

    They probably had microswitch joysticks in. The original Pac Man had leaf switch. Donkey Kong was a 4 way joystick and a plate to stop you from pushing the joystick diagonal.

    #22 5 years ago

    thank you to everyone for the kind words about logan arcade, it means a lot to us. james works hard to keep everything working and looking good and with 31 pinball machines on the floor that's a lot of work!

    #23 5 years ago

    I've only been to Logan and it was pretty awesome.

    Generally only over 21 but I made arrangements to take my 12 year old daughter there on Sunday AM.

    Zespy the owner is a cool cat as were the rest of the guys there. They rock the lumberjack look too, for added cool points.

    I made a video while I was there, as there wasn't much else on YouTube at the time.

    rd.

    #24 5 years ago

    Only been to hq river north, really liked it. Games were in good shape, beer and atmosphere also very good.

    #25 5 years ago
    Quoted from drmrpants:

    thank you to everyone for the kind words about logan arcade, it means a lot to us. james works hard to keep everything working and looking good and with 31 pinball machines on the floor that's a lot of work!

    Jim - It was good to meet you! My Winterizing offer still stands on your van. We have a really nice formula that is like Diamond Plate for the auto industry.

    #26 5 years ago

    Yes--I have been to all 5 of them.My personal fav is Logan Hardware

    Why??

    It's the selection of the multiple era's of pins available to play that
    the other area barcades don't offer.

    The illuminated backglasses hanging on the walls in the back room
    in the rear elevate this barcade to the next level.Once you have spent
    the better part of an evening @Logans you can take a walk westbound
    on W Fullerton to Emporium (2363 N Milwaukee) and C/O another barcade.

    You really can't go wrong with any one choice,however if you do visit a
    Headquarters location,don't be shocked when you encounter all the
    "free play" pins--just "POP" for a drink and tell management I'm here to play
    your awesome pins!!!

    I'm really envious of all the pinball fans who live in Chicago!!!

    1 month later
    #27 5 years ago

    Chicago is on fire (bad pun), when it comes to the arcade / barcade scene. When I first moved here, only the first Emporium existed with the Headquarters opening shortly after. It's just amazing and really fortunate to be in a place with such a healthy scene. I used to frequent Headquarters the most, especially when they expanded to the Pinball room, but ever since Logan Arcade moved in to where the record store was and expanded, it's basically the only place I go to now for a couple reasons. Headquarters is still worth checking because it's free, but yeah, most of the crowed is terrible there and aren't there to play in any serious matter, so you'll have games set on 4 player and people will walk away. (i'll usually just turn the game off and on myself). Beer selection is good, but pricy (not surprising, since games are free). I'd say it's the 2nd best place though.

    For those asking about bringing kids, I would still suggest going to the Logan Hardware Record store) which is a block down from the barcade), as they still have a somewhat hidden back room with a few pins and bunch of classic arcade machines, which are all on free play if you buy anything in the record shop.

    The Logan Arcade is amazing and the one I frequent the most (too much for my own good). I go there half of the time to play the 10 player (5 on 5) arcade game Killer Queen, which is the most fun and addicting game i've played in years. The local scene for that game is constantly growing, as is the competition. League nights, every Wednesday and tournaments usually once a month. Easy and welcoming to jump in and play, learn with some really great people and friends I've met through it.

    That aside, the Pins are great too with a great selection from different eras. Unfortunately, they seem to have raised the prices on most of the newer games, so that's a bit of a bummer.. but overall they keep the games running better than the other locations. Beer selection is good, but wish they would rotate some of the taps more often and have a little more of a variety, but still

    Not a big fan of Emporium in Wicker Park, mainly because it's loud and obnoxious, sometimes they charge a cover in the side with the stage when they have DJ's and junk, when I all I want to do is play some pinball.. overall I hate the scene there. The new Emporium is a little better because it's a roomier, have an ok selection of Pins that are all on 25 cents, which is nice. Less crowded.

    So far, the bubble hasn't seem to burst yet, and all the locations seem to be busy most of the time, which is great.

    basically, Chicago rules!

    #28 5 years ago
    Quoted from rotordave:

    I've only been to Logan and it was pretty awesome.
    Generally only over 21 but I made arrangements to take my 12 year old daughter there on Sunday AM.
    Zespy the owner is a cool cat as were the rest of the guys there. They rock the lumberjack look too, for added cool points.
    I made a video while I was there, as there wasn't much else on YouTube at the time.
    » YouTube video
    rd.

    Is this the Logan hardware location with a kitchen that some one mentioned? Trying to decided where to take my bro in law for his bachelor party on march 7

    #29 5 years ago
    Quoted from valgalder:

    Unfortunately, they seem to have raised the prices on most of the newer games, so that's a bit of a bummer.. but overall they keep the games running better than the other locations.

    Pricing has always been .50 x1/.75 x2/1.00 x3 on everything alphanumeric and up & .25 a play for solid state and electromechanical games. This is for all of the games that they own. Medieval Madness is a test game and the manufacturer wanted to test it from an actual modern non-barcade operator's stand point ($1.00 a play) to get some data for sales.

    Quoted from Chitownpinball:

    Is this the Logan hardware location with a kitchen?

    They do not have a kitchen but you can order food and have it brought in.

    #30 5 years ago

    image.jpg

    #31 5 years ago
    Quoted from Barron:

    image.jpg 21 KB

    just drive the BS over.

    #32 5 years ago

    I've gotta track down a project Hercules to use as dibs by the next snowstorm.

    #33 5 years ago
    Quoted from Barron:

    They do not have a kitchen but you can order food and have it brought in.

    Thanks. I see now they were talking about Headquarters.

    #34 5 years ago

    I live in Logan Square and frequent most of them pretty often. Logan Arcade is by far the best for quality and selection of games. Headquarters Lincoln Park is a close second. Emporium Wicker Park is 3rd. The other Emporium is only a few pins focused more on pinball/foosball/air hockey. Haven't been to Headquarters River North as I don't like that neighborhood, but hear good things about the game selection and kitchen.

    #35 5 years ago
    Quoted from Barron:

    They do not have a kitchen but you can order food and have it brought in.

    Thanks. I see now they were talking about Headquarters.

    #36 5 years ago

    For me, I won't go to hq on the weekends. Just too many people. Christ they are my games and I won't go. However if you want to meet people and mingle its a good place to go. Logan and emporium have a different crowd for sure. If I just want to play some games and not socialize, Logan is pretty sweet. The games are cheap to play and it leaves them open from people starting a 4 player game and walking away. My take on the bar scene is Logan to play, hq to socialize. Hq during the week is pretty nice however. Again I'm partial.

    #37 5 years ago

    Logan Arcade has possibly the BEST atmosphere of any
    barcade in the US.

    But Add A Ball Amusements in Seattle may run neck
    and neck w/Logan-too close to call

    Let's not forget BlairAlley in Eugene,Ore also is up there.

    Come on pinsiders,let trek around the country and SUPPORT
    these awesome operators who work very hard to provide die
    hard players places to play!!!

    Remember--
    Life without pinball is like a life without oxygen!!!

    Post edited by ILovePinball: wanted to add to origional post

    #38 5 years ago

    Add a Ball all the way. I really want to go to their new spots... John John's and (_____) I can't remember. Anyone know what the 3rd spot is called?

    Little known fact: Brad who co-owns those joints is brothers w/ Jeff who has some pinballs in his shop in LA, Choke.

    #39 5 years ago

    If only one opened in Bucktown for the Gen-Y crowd....

    #40 5 years ago
    Quoted from radrats:

    Add a Ball all the way. I really want to go to their new spots... John John's and (____) I can't remember. Anyone know what the 3rd spot is called?
    Little known fact: Brad who co-owns those joints is brothers w/ Jeff who has some pinballs in his shop in LA, Choke.

    Whoa! I totally forgot about Choke, what's he have in there? How's stuff working? Cool little shop!

    #41 5 years ago

    Appreciate this thread - I was traveling a few weeks back to Chicago and went to HQ Lakeview as it was relatively near where I was staying. I thought it was good, was during the week and relatively early so had my choice of games. Nice free play on the Sterns which I hadn't spent too much time on.

    Looks like I will be making the trip back to Chicago at least once a month so look forward to checking out the other venues mentioned.

    Nice shout out for my local Add a Ball as well

    #42 5 years ago

    Choke is a neat place. He had a Stars, Big Indian, and another one when I lived up the block.

    Quoted from MrBally:

    If only one opened in Bucktown for the Gen-Y crowd....

    I think Logan Arcade got swept into Bucktown in the 90's real estate market when Logan Square was not a buzz word.

    #43 5 years ago

    Ok, new question for this thread: Do you think that the scene in Chicago will be able to support 5 barcades? Is at least one doomed to fold? This is kinda directed to the Chicagoans that frequent these spots and know how full/empty they are on a regular basis. Don't mean to be all doom and gloom. I'm just curious, because if it can happen in Chicago, maybe LA will be next to have 5 barcades.

    #44 5 years ago

    As I understand it, LA has 2-3 opening by the end of 2016! Also, it's not a barcade (no dranks) but Neon just opened last weekend and they have good pins.

    #45 5 years ago
    Quoted from Barron:

    Choke is a neat place. He had a Stars, Big Indian, and another one when I lived up the block.

    I think Logan Arcade got swept into Bucktown in the 90's real estate market when Logan Square was not a buzz word.

    But Logan Square was a stop on the Blue Line (old Kennedy Line for us old-timers) since it opened.

    #47 5 years ago

    ^^^ Oh wow. I know someone who lives on that corner! I know whose couch I'm crashing on next time I'm in Chicago.

    #48 5 years ago
    Quoted from radrats:

    Ok, new question for this thread: Do you think that the scene in Chicago will be able to support 5 barcades? Is at least one doomed to fold? This is kinda directed to the Chicagoans that frequent these spots and know how full/empty they are on a regular basis. Don't mean to be all doom and gloom. I'm just curious, because if it can happen in Chicago, maybe LA will be next to have 5 barcades.

    In 5 years only 1 or 2 will be left. This is a trend.

    #49 5 years ago
    Quoted from catboxer:

    In 5 years only 1 or 2 will be left. This is a trend.

    I am aware of two others opening soon in Chicago. Idk about the operations of the other bars but some of the ones just don't seem to have the financial backing needed if things slow down. I predict that a few will fold up.

    #50 5 years ago
    Quoted from catboxer:

    In 5 years only 1 or 2 will be left. This is a trend.

    Quoted from inhomearcades:

    I am aware of two others opening soon in Chicago. Idk about the operations of the other bars but some of the ones just don't seem to have the financial backing needed if things slow down. I predict that a few will fold up.

    You could say this about ANY bar or restaurant in the USA. Some of the highest failure rates in business, regardless of whether or not they have pins or arcade machines.

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