Monday, February 2, 2015

Gotta Play! Blipsy Bar

If you've been paying attention you know I have a thing for sky high dining and drinking.  I also have a thing for arcade games.  My mom used to take me to the mall on Saturday's so she could shop, I'd hit up Aladdin's Castle and play stuff like Street Fighter, Final Fight, Avengers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or the G.I. Joe run and gun.  With the rise of home gaming, arcades took a tumble in the 2000's and you'd only find machines at a pizza parlor, bowling alley or Dave and Buster's style establishment that blended gaming with food and drinks.  On the rise today are Barcades, where entrepreneurial 30 year olds mix video games and booze so you can relive your childhood.  Eighty-Two in Downtown has had great success in it's short lifetime while Neon Retro just opened up in Pasadena where you can play unlimited games and pinball for a flat fee but no booze. Up-Down in Des Moines is about the best example of a barcade I've encountered as you've got a full bar, 80's and 90's inspired wall paper and games of all kinds for fighting, driving, shooting along with physical attractions like skee-ball and giant Jenga.  Ground Kontrol in Portland is pretty cool too as they had the giant 6 player X-Men along with Alec Baldwin's The Shadow pinball.

I feel like Blipsy's has probably been around for a quite a while though as I came years ago and is far from the clean, shiny and club like Eighty-Two.  Blipy's is basically a dive bar but with video games.  It's small, dark, cramped and hot.  The outside has Pac-Man inspired decor and inside you'll find He-Man and the Masters of the Universe prints and a Christopher Reeve Superman poster on the wall while a big ass Cobra Terror Drome hangs upside down from the ceiling like a chandelier.  There's a quarters machine all the way in the back and it's so dark you can hardly see where to insert your dollar.  Blipsy's sticks to more classic 80's style games like Galaga, Gauntlet, Punch-Out, Rampage and Ms. Pac-Man without a shooting or fighting game in sight.  That's where it loses points for me but hey, it's their theme.  Most games cost a quarter and while I stretched that out on Galaga and Ms. Pac-Man, the joystick didn't work too well for WWF's Superstars as I couldn't select the Ultimate Warrior then got counted out when I was unable to get back in the ring!  Located on Western Avenue just past Beverly Blvd across from a giant Kentucky Fried Chicken, you can totally head down the street a little and hit up some Korean BBQ.  Just take Oxford, it's faster.

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