Monday, June 30, 2014

Hanging Out: Barcadium

Barcadium is a really good concept. It's a bar with arcade games, craft beers, couches and a life-size Barbie box. It should feel like hanging out at your cool friend's basement... except it doesn't.

Source: Barcadium's Facebook

Not for lack of trying, but Barcadium just feels contrived and a little on a douche-bag side. Perhaps it's because it's located in the Court Avenue district - notorious hang out of suburbanites with sense of entitlement. But the bar can't help who comes in, they are a business after all. It's not your cool friend's basement where only a select few gets invited to.

Ben and I stopped by at about 9:30pm last Saturday. I like that they're using quarters instead of tokens. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of selection when it comes to games. We played House of the Dead, mainly because it was free (for some reason). That was cool because we were able to finish the game. I appreciate the comic book inspired artwork plastered on the wall. I liked the American Psycho and Marvel superheroes mash-up.

Source: Barcadium's Facebook 

However, when we tried to play the race car game, one of the cars wasn't working. We then switched to the Nintendo consul to play Mortal Kombat, but the Player 2 controller wasn't working either.

Obligatory photo inside the life-sized Barbie box.
Ben as Hipster Barbie (refurb bicycle and PBR sold separately).
Another thing that's working against Barcadium is their music selection. Playing music from the early 2000's does not make it retro. It just says that your music taste hasn't evolved since high school. I was surprised I didn't hear some Nickleback or Creed - although that would be funny in an ironic way. If you're going to play bad music, commit to it. It should be intentional, not because your Pandora station is stuck on "Crap They Played On KISS FM 10 Years Ago".

At the end of the day, what makes a great bar are the people; the customers/partons that have a good time and aren't obnoxious and infringing on other people's good time. To be fair, I didn't really notice anyone behaving douchey, but I was on high alert. Perhaps it's because I just don't like the Court Avenue area anymore, ever since it's been gentrified and parking had been a bitch. And don't get me started with the violence in the area, but I guess that's why Operation Downtown hire extra police in the area. We left at around 11pm to go to Up-Down. I wasn't going to stay in that area when the hooligans leave their bar of choice.

Pros: Change machine dispenses quarters instead of tokens. Decent selection of craft beers. Bathrooms that aren't make-shift (unlike Up-Down). Free play (intentional or not).

Cons: Bad music. Broken games. Proximity to Court Avenue.

Verdict: I don't hate Barcadium because they sucked. They sucked because I hate Court Avenue. So, consider the source and take it with a grain of salt.

Barcadium is located on 102 3rd Street.
Hours: Mon-Fri 4pm - 2am. Sat-Sun Noon - 2am.

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