People always ask me to name my favorite bars in Philly. But because I live in East Philly (AKA Camden) I don’t have an urban neighborhood bar to default to and I find myself jumping around a lot instead of repeat visiting. But there is one bar that I end up at more than most and that’s Barcade.
A few years ago, I told someone I lived on Frankford Avenue in Fishtown. Their response was to grill me on the status of then newly opened Barcade.
“I mean, what kind of bar is it?”
“I don’t know,” I said. “A bar with arcade games.”
“Yeah, but like… who goes there?”
“But what kind of people?”
“I don’t know. People who like arcade games?”
“Yeah, but like… hipsters?”
Yesterday Curbed Philly had an item breaking down and explicating New York imports that have made it here and those that haven’t. Sandy Smith touched on this in a column for PhillyMag.com about the Brooklyn Flea’s departure, which he attributes, in part, to its NYC branding. Those transplants that haven’t flaunted their New York-ness do better, Smith said.
Here’s what Curbed’s Tishon Woolcock had to say:
Brooklyn Flea/FAIL: “Has anyone mentioned the fact that Philly already has great flea markets and thrift shops?”
3rd Ward/FAIL: “Reportedly, mismanagement – more than a move to Philly – was responsible for 3rd Ward’s undoing”
Shake Shack/SUCCESS: “Philly has little beef with the chain’s arrival”
Barcade/SUCCESS: “The friendly staff, inviting decor, plus games and craft beer make Barcade an excellent addition to the city’s bar scene.”
Fette Sau/SUCCESS: “A year in, the brisket is still selling by the pound.”
On October 11th, a new bar opened in the East Village section of Des Moines, Iowa. The name of the bar is Up-Down, and the concept is simple: booze and arcade games. So, the bar referred to itself as a “barcade”. But that seems to have gotten them in trouble with Barcade, the bar-arcade concept 1,000 miles away in Philadelphia, New Jersey and Brooklyn. Read more »
Kraftwork isn’t the only bar turning its tap handles over to an out-of-town brewer today. Starting at 4 p.m. this afternoon Fishtown’s Barcade will have 18 taps of Clown Shoes beers on tap. Some of Clown Shoes’ ingredients are unusual. There’s chocolate malt, ancho chili, cinnamon, and vanilla in their Chocolate Sombrero Stout and Clown Shoes Genghis Pecan is a porter brewed with brown sugar and roast pecans. Not sure if we believe this one but we’d still try it, Clown Shoes Vampire Slayer, an imperial Stout brewed with holy water, ash, and vampire killing stakes.
Over in West Philadelphia, Local 44 will be showcasing draft beers from Great Divide Brewing Company. The bar will be pouring Titan, Hercules, Orabelle, Heyday, Nomad, Colette, Chocolate Yeti, 19th Anniversary and some rare Vintage Yeti starting at 6 p.m.. Next door at the Local 44 Bottle Shop from 6-8 p.m., there will be complementary samples of other Great Divide beers and head brewer, Taylor Rees.
To start off a summer season full of crazy events that could end very badly the crew at Tattooed Mom is holding their first annual “Hotter Than Hell” Handmade Hot Sauce Contest. The competition, on Tuesday June 12th from 5 to 9 p.m., will feature 20 contestants vying for the ultimate title. The panel of judges for the competition includes Jen Zavala of Interstate Draft House, Collin Thompson of Barcade, Tony Baris the South Street tattoo artist and self-proclaimed hot sauce junkie, and Chubb Rock of Tattooed Mom.
Okay, so no matter how strident were the requests that attendees treat last night’s Philly Beer Scene “Best Of” Awards like they were the Grammies, Tom Kehoe still didn’t wear a tie. But Jose Pistola’s owner Joe Gunn wore a tux, and Best Brewmaster nominee Chris LaPierre sported an outlandish Western shirt, jacket and bolo at the first-ever Philly Beer Scene public awards ceremony. The recommended black-tie attire for the red carpet-style affair allowed the who’s-who of the local beer and bar scene to dress up for one another in sometimes tongue-in-cheek fashion. The merriment was palpable as brewers, bar and homebrew shop owners, sales reps, journalists, distributor employees and drinkers came together Downstairs at World Café Live to get photographed and interviewed on the red carpet (interviews courtesy of Suzy Woods) and cheer one another and the community as a whole.
Okay, so with Barcade: Philly now officially open in Fishtown and occupying the sweet dreams and daylight obsessions of both beer and video game geeks alike, we got to thinking… What is it about the place that’s more awesome: the Founders Dirty Bastard Ale or the original Bally/Midway TRON arcade cabinet?
The obvious answer here is that there’s absolutely nothing cooler than getting a few pints in and then going all 007 playing drunken Spy Hunter, but if you had to choose between the brews and the games, which side would you come down on?
Before you answer that, you should probably take a look at the offerings side-by-side, so check out the Big List of Barcade’s Beers and Arcade Games after the jump.