Cheap popcorn, birthday parties and Pac-Man are the essentials to the typical arcade, a childhood coin eater. That standard is getting an adult revival, however, as Bellingham’s Reset Games rolls out the kegs and plans to launch their brand new bar/arcade, or “barcade.”
Reset Games, a video game store owned by Edmonds-based video game store and arcade, Another Castle, plans to open the barcade in the storefront next door to its Barkley Boulevard location. The new location, Reset Games Arcade Edition, will be the third such barcade opened by Another Castle, after the success of the previous iterations.
Another Castle was founded by Matt Artim in 2009. The first location was a retail store in Edmonds, which doubled in size in 2011 by expanding to the adjacent storefront to create its first arcade, Jason Greye said. Another Castle now has retail locations in Lynnwood and Bellingham.
“It sounds awesome. You get to be with friends, drink up and play games,” junior Patrick Mogg said.
Greye is heading the project and has experience meshing the two business models. After buying and flipping a bar in Edmonds, Greye started working with the Another Castle location in Edmonds. He was looking for a fun job, Greye said, and didn’t care much about the money.
The barcade will host a selection of local beers as well as craft and award winning beers from around the United States, bartender Anthony Welters said.
According to state law, a Washington state business licensed as a restaurant, is not permitted to allow minors on the premise if hard alcohol is served. Welters said the barcade will be inclusive to all ages by not selling hard alcohol.
The barcade idea aims to keep the younger generation interested in the arcade experience, Greye said.
“If we can’t get the newer generation to come in here and learn how to enjoy these things like we all do, this is just going to die out,” Greye said.
Artim bought Reset Games in Bellingham in 2013, bringing it into the Another Castle family, according to the Another Castle website.
“When a suite opened up next to a retail store, it was a piece of cake,” Greye said. “We’ve already done it once and it’s profitable.”
Artim purchased the adjacent storefront earlier this year with the intention of opening the barcade.
Colorful murals of iconic video game characters in their power stances and large video game machines fill the disorganized space that will soon be Reset Games Arcade Edition.
The sections of the arcade will have different game themes, and one wall will consist of the pin ball machines, Greye said.
The list of games that will be available to play at the Bellingham location is as extensive as the beer list, Welters said.
The focus of the barcade will be pinball, following suit with the rest of the Another Castle chains, Welters said. Classic games such as Mario Kart, Tetris, Pac-Man, Street Fighter, Frogger, Galaga, Space Invaders and Super Mario Brothers will also be in the line up.
Pinball took off at the Edmonds location, Welters said. The enthusiasm for pinball has led the company to embrace the classic game, Welters said.
There will be 12 to14 pinball games in total available for play at the barcade. Based on their research, the barcade will be one of the few places to play pinball in Bellingham, Welters said.
Greye said he wants to work with the Bellingham Pinball Collective to procure pinball machines, hold events and even conduct repairs and basic maintenance on the Bellingham location pinball machines.
Greye has plans to hold pinball competitions ranging from novice to professional, to be held on a regular basis. Themed competitions have been very successful at the Edmonds branch, Greye said. The plan is to bring that same success to the Bellingham location, Greye said.
“It sounds like a place I can be a lot more open with my friends about what we are talking about and not have to censor myself,” Western student Jonathan Kassa said.
An opening date has not yet been set. Greye said the opening date will be announced as soon as they have the electrical permit in hand.