The Red Hot Chili Peppers sang that space is made in a Hollywood basement. A Boise basement got the same treatment last night with the opening of Spacebar, a new barcade that took over the space that used to be Voodoo Lounge and the Catacomb Club at Capitol Booulevard and Idaho Street, filling it to the gills with vintage arcade games, pinball machines and sweaty button-bangers.
A line stretched out the door and up the stairs for much of the night as the club never dropped below its capacity of 75.
That level of traffic took its toll. An early casualty was the quarter machine, meaning an employee had to set up shop at the bar with a pitcher full of quarters, manually making change. Later, the credit card reader broke. Battle Zone was also temporarily incapacitated.
And nearly everyone had beefs/suggestions. More pinball. More side-scrolling action games. More fighting games. Allow quarters to be charged to a card. Bubble Bobbly, Spy fucking Hunter and a second Rampage machine.
But the reason people were so critical was the opposite of irritation: It was jubilation.
"Aw, shit, Pac-Man is open," echoed through the din, as did, "I'm centipeding it up," and "I'm totally going to blow my paycheck here every week."
Customer Matt Dalley stood by Centipede proudly flagging down anyone that passed by to see his high score.
"I couldn't ever do it as a kid," Dalley beamed.
It wasn't the only high score. though. Boasts were plentiful, as were the sweet synth jams from local group Phantahex.
Space bar, this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Provided we get some Double Dragon in there stat.