As I walked into Reset Games Arcade Edition, I was greeted by a symphony of vigorously-pushed buttons and the Legend of Zelda theme playing over loud speakers. The room was lined with arcade games; pinball, shooters and the classics. Above them, street-art-style paintings of classic video game characters covered the walls. A rush of nostalgia hit as I stood in a place I would have dreamed of as a child.
Yet, something that I wouldn’t have anticipated is the prospect of beer to accompany my arcade experience. That’s right; it’s a barcade.
If you’re expecting a full bar, you may be disappointed. Instead, there is a variety of bottled and canned beverages, as well as some Japanese snacks and non-alcoholic beverages for sale.
I had a Redd’s Apple Ale since the drinks are confined to mostly beer, and I was in the mood for something with cider. I placed it on the drink stand next to the House of the Dead game and shot down hordes of zombies for only a quarter. The wail of zombie cries became part of the arcade symphony surrounding me.
If you’re under 21, there’s good news: you can still come and play the games. There is no age limit for enjoying the arcade.
Jason Greye, owner of the barcade, spoke to why he thinks it’s important to keep the business open to minors.
“We remain all ages, all the time. It’s important for the community that kids have a safe place to play. Most kid friendly places close earlier in the evening or aren’t monitored safely,” Greye said. “By finding a balance where we can show kids how much fun arcades are, as well as have beer for the adults, we create a space where every generation can enjoy the business.”
The arcade is open 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays, 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Fridays, noon to 2 a.m. on Saturdays and noon to 10 p.m. on Sundays.
The games themselves are very affordable, being 50 cents at most. If you beat the high score on a game, you get 25 percent off your purchase at the bar. Usually, I am pretty exceptional at Galaga, but I couldn’t get close to the high score on that game. The regulars here are real pros.
Drinks range in price from $3 to $8 except on “$2 Tall-boy Tuesdays” and on “Sunday Funday” when beverages are $1 off.
Arcades first became popular in the 70s but have made a comeback in recent years. Reset Games opened in October 2015 joining the several other arcades in the Bellingham area.
“My favorite thing about what I do is seeing grandfathers teaching grandchildren how to play Donkey Kong. That is precisely why we do this. Hopefully, when those children grow up, they still carry a love of arcades, and hopefully we’ll still be here to fulfill that niche,” Greye said.
Reset Games gets an 8 out of 10. For an extremely low price, you can get hours of entertainment in a really cool atmosphere. However, the space is a little cramped, and the menu could be expanded.