It's no secret I love arcades. I miss the 'golden days' of gaming. A time when you put a quarter on the machine letting the person playing know that you were next. It's one of the reason I started the Arcade Spotlight series and one of the reasons why I'm excited at the possibility of a new arcade opening up in Los Angeles.
If you live in LA, you can be certain of three things; smog, traffic, and the fact that our arcade scene suuuuucks assssss. The good arcades, like The Reagan Years and Tokyo Arcade, have closed. The ones still operating run on reputation and duct tape. For as big a city as we are, we're nowhere near the top of the list when it comes to awesome arcades like New York or Nevada. We'd rather have another overrated Umami Burger than a pinball joint.
So I was pretty stoked when I read about a new barcade opening up in Echo Park, a part of Los Angeles overrun by hipsters and terrible indie bands. 33 year-old Gabriel Fowlkes and his friend Jordan Weiss will be leasing a 4,000 square foot place that used to be a laundromat.
Their arcade was inspired by Ground Kontrol in Portland, Oregon, one of the best barcades in the country. But instead of the nachos and hot dogs Ground Kontrol serves, they'll be serving food from a menu based on Starry Kitchen, a pan-Asian restaurant located in downtown LA.
Course they'll be facing some obstacles, because heaven forbid we have a nice arcade in Hipsterville. According to the article, "They have appeared before community groups and representatives of the Echo Park neighborhood council as they prepare to file for zoning variances and alcohol licenses. During a recent presentation before the planning committee of the Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council, one board member expressed opposition to another late-night restaurant bar serving alcohol on Sunset Boulevard. Another board member voiced concern about additional traffic and parking problems caused by the new venue, which plans to hold several tournaments and special events over the year."
Additional traffic and parking problems? You live in LA. The entire city has traffic and parking problems. One arcade isn't going make things any worse than they already are. Hopefully they can get the place open sometime in 2014. We'll keep you updated on their progress. Wonder what they'll call it?