Last year I had the privilege of visiting Barcade in Brooklyn, NY and I was left with video game nostalgia and overwhelmed by choices of brews I could barely pronounce. I remember having two (uber hoppy) beers that I hated and after a few games of dig dug and mike tyson’s punch out, we left.
So some 6 months later I find out that they are opening one in my city, enter stage left Barcade – Jersey City. When you walk into this place you are reminded of the Brooklyn place but much bigger and inviting. The Brooklyn bar didn’t have any windows and had this parent’s basement feel to it, this one has windows that exposes the entire front and the left side of the bar. On days like today, they open those windows and let that breeze come through.
So you walk into this slightly dark bar that has old 80’s stand up arcade games flanking the entire place and a huge bar against the right side wall. This place reminds me of a grown up version of the Brooklyn one, which is a good thing. The beer menu, chalked above the taps is extensive and a little daunting at first but they do have a typed up version with descriptions of over 25 taps. They also have a sandwich menu of which I ordered the muffuletta, which was a tasty sandwich but didn’t come with fries or chips and for $9, I think it should come with some sort of starch side I mean come on I’m a gluttonous American that isn’t satisfied until I have those “I should unbutton my pants” feeling.
The bartender was attentive and was always right there to pour my beer, even on nights that it gets busy you can get a pour pretty quickly because honestly how long does it take to pour a beer. The bar does feature mixed drinks, as well as beer but with the extensive tap menu, why would you want to order something else?
After you are done eating or socializing at the bar you can enjoy some retro gaming on the various stand up arcade games lining the walls. They have things that will bring you 30 years back and remind you of the good ole’ days, of which most of you reading this probably can’t relate to because 30 years ago you were just a tickle in your dad’s britches.
The worst part about going here was the parking situation. I went there on Thursday after work and I got there around 6 and must have cirlced the area for a good 15 minutes before I found something in a shaddy alleyway next to Bon Chon. This is great for locals but a bit of a drag for those not within walking distance of the bar. Speaking of which, this is a block up from the Path Grove Street train station, so its easily accessible to the NYC folks.
Overall this place evokes great nostalgia in a warm comfortable atmosphere surrounded by good people and great beer. The tap list is extensive and I recommend you read the descriptions on the printed sheet or else you might get something that gives you the I just got smacked in the mouth face. The food is good and simple for a quick eat but that’s a good thing, this place isn’t pretending to be a restaurant, its taking its niche and doing it well. Stay thirsty but stay different!