The arcade bar isn't a new concept. Old-school video games and a healthy selection of craft beer is an instant recipe for dudegasm. Williamsburg, Brooklyn, opened the iconic Barcade in 2004, and Portland, Ore., debuted Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade in 2003, which was the inspiration behind Boise's soon-to-open rendition: Spacebar Arcade.
"It was surprising to us that nobody had done it yet in downtown," said Spacebar's Trent McNair. "We feel lucky to be the ones to go this route."
McNair and partners David Lentz, Teresa Hill, Dwayne Hill and Cindy Limber will open the beer-and-wine-only bar in the subterranean space at 200 N. Capitol Blvd., which formerly housed Voodoo Lounge and Catacomb.
"For older people, there's obviously an element of nostalgia," said McNair, when asked about the resurgent interest in vintage video games. "And then I think the popularity of casual gaming on small devices--phones and iPads, whatnot--brought back an interest in those kinds of games, and certainly there's emulators and reissues of games on those devices."
The bar will house 30 coin operated arcade games and pinball machines, including Tron, Galaga, Asteroids, Centipede, Mortal Kombat, Donkey Kong, Pac-Man and Frogger.
"There's a Top 100 Games list that's maintained by BMI Gaming, and anything we got we wanted to be on that list," said McNair.
Spacebar Arcade will also feature four to six rotating taps, a few wines and a large selection of canned beers. McNair said there will be drink specials for high scorers, but those are still being ironed out.
"We'll have DJs on the weekends ... although we don't have a full stage or anything like that so we're not going to have bands," said McNair. "But it is appropriate for certain kinds of electronic music so we're searching that out right now."
Currently, Spacebar Arcade plans to open Friday, Aug. 31, but McNair said that might get pushed back a week or so. Visit Spacebar's Facebook page for further updates.
Moving from space to your face, this is the last week to experience one of Red Feather Lounge's August Farm to Face cocktail dinners. The four-course meal will take place Monday, Aug. 27, and feature pairings like a flame-roasted heirloom tomato with ratatouille stuffing and white balsamic reduction with a salted sweet vermouth cocktail and pan-fried Hagerman tilapia and hazelnut dressed greens with a gin and porter reduction cocktail.
Tickets are $45 per person, and you can call 208-585-7722 to reserve them or swing by the restaurant.