Essex County News

Barcade on Tap: Popular Bar-arcade Opens Much-anticipated Newark Location

5a7781707069c1841723_bar2.jpg
Patrons at Barcade enjoy some beer and eats on opening day Credits: Kathryn Phelps
757642e6d059776ca036_bar4.jpg
Barcade boasts about 30 craft beers on tap Credits: Kathryn Phelps
4d0886d8f1126a60ff31_bar5.jpg
Bartender Ciara Zelaya pouring one of 30 on-tap craft beers Credits: Kathryn Phelps
b973ac2cc0f6717fd87a_bar6.jpg
Barcade bartender Ciara Zelaya serves up on-tap craft beer on opening day Credits: Kathryn Phelps
d638bfcfbf1343bdfbac_bar8.jpg
Barcade, located on Broad St. in downtown Newark, held its official grand opening today Credits: Kathryn Phelps
ff5117d1083d66c4a71a_bar9.jpg
Barcade held its much-anticipated grand opening today in downtown Newark Credits: Kathryn Phelps
7f473deb2f581ed4c19f_bar11.jpg
Barcade boasts about 50 vintage arcade games at its Newark locaton Credits: Kathryn Phelps
5a7781707069c1841723_bar2.jpg

Saturday was the much-anticipated grand opening of Barcade, the combination bar and arcade famous for its classic video games and American craft beer.

There's been plenty of buzz surrounding the opening of the popular bar—Newarkers have been eagerly awaiting its arrival in a city that is fast becoming an attractive destination.

Barcade, located on Broad Street in downtown Newark, is the newest bar to hit the increasingly popular neighborhood, with hip residential spaces and trendy retail spots steadily popping up on every corner of the newly-revitalized area.

Sign Up for E-News

The bar is housed inside a cavernous space with an industrial look, complete with exposed duct work, cement support columns and high ceilings. About thirty beers are on tap, with exotic names like Harpoon Sriracha Blonde, Brooklyn Kiwi’s Playhouse, Climax and Victory White Monkey.

And then there are the vintage games—Asteroids, Ms. Pac-Man, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Bubble Bobble, Centipede and Donkey Kong, just to name a few—a Gen X'ers dream come true.

There’s a full menu, too—comfort food items like Chicken and Waffle Grilled Cheese, sandwiches, burgers, quesadillas, sliders, fried chicken and barbecue pulled pork.

The newest location is Barcade’s seventh, with others in Brooklyn, Chelsea, the East Village, Philadelphia, Jersey City and New Haven, Connecticut.

Barcade is the brainchild of four friends—Paul Kermizian, Pete Langway and brothers Kevin and Scott Beard—who came up with the idea from their nights together drinking craft beer and playing ‘80s video games.

At the time of the opening, the Beard brothers were working in graphic design, Langway in advertising and Kermizian in film and television, and had just completed directing the feature film “American Beer,” a road trip documentary profiling the American craft beer industry.

Although the partners had little restaurant or bar experience, the dream was calling, and the beer and game-filled nights inspired the group to go for it. They quit their day jobs and began work on their first location—a warehouse and garage located in Brooklyn—and opened in 2004.

According to Kermizian, the partners had been eyeing Newark for several years.

“We had been considering Newark for some time,” Kermizian said. “I think we started coming out and looking around about two years ago. Clearly there is a lack of nightlife for a lot of reasons, but great potential for nightlife to return, so we saw a good opportunity to be a part of that revival.”

Each Barcade location has approximately 50 games, said Kermizian, mostly classic video games from the '80s and '90s. Pinball machines have been added as well, with five at the Newark location.

Beers are solely draft and craft, and the full kitchen can churn out a wide variety of dishes.

“Our beer selection is draft only and only American craft breweries, with a focus on local and regional brewers,” Kermizian said. “We also have a full liquor selection with some house cocktails. The Newark location has a full kitchen with sandwiches, some salads, small plates and wings. This location also has pizza so we are doing a selection of bar pies.”

General Manager Mike DeSimone said the downtown location was ripe for a venture like Barcade.

“It’s a very corporate area,” DeSimone said. “During the week, it’s very busy. We’re thinking we’ll be more of a lunch and happy hour kind of spot, and then also get really busy on the weekends.”

According to DeSimone, the bar is something of a pioneer as the city goes through its rapid revitalization.

“That’s why we’re here—to kind of jumpstart this area,” he said. “There are lots of shops and condos in the area and a lot is happening over the next few years.”

Kermizian said he wanted to open a location specifically in the downtown area. In addition, the Broad Street location—previously a restaurant and bar—made the buildout process easier.

“Because of the games, our concept requires a good deal more square footage than a typical bar, so we always need to find space that’s a little on the larger size, which can be tough to find,” he said. “Also, it’s a great location being right near the light rail and the Broad Street station. Plus, there is a parking garage in the building.”

Bartender Ciara Zelaya said she’s excited to be a part of Barcade’s first Newark venture.

“It’s been fun and really exciting,” she said. “I’m happy that we’re finally open. We’re hoping for a big crowd tonight.”

DeSimone noted the no-brainer concept of the business.

“It’s arcade games and beer,” he said. “It’s pretty hard to screw that up.”

Kermizian expressed confidence in Barcade's success and is excited to finally have landed in Newark. 

"We have a pretty relaxed atmosphere," he said. "Anyone who is into video games and craft beer should enjoy it. We are exactly as our name implies, a bar with an arcade, and I think just that alone will set us apart. We’re very happy to be in Newark and just want to fit in and be a positive part of the city."

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Montclair

South Orange Middle School Students Have Photo Op With Rep. Payne in Washington, D.C.

June 16, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC - South Orange Middle School (SOMS) students on a visit to Capitol Hill as part of the 8th grade trip to Washington, DC. had the chance to meet with and take a photo with Donald Payne, Jr. on Friday. Payne is the U.S. Representative for New Jersey District 10, which includes South Orange and Maplewood.

Photos of the students with Rep. Payne were ...

New Brunswick Civic League Leader Still Looking for New Challenges After 48 Years at Helm

June 16, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - After 48 years of leading the charge for change in New Brunswick, Dr. C. Roy Epps can still be found quietly working on weekends in The Civic League of Greater New Brunswick offices.

The tireless commitment of the 77-year-old President and CEO of this non-profit has helped provide residents access to a variety of health, housing and education services over the ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, June 18, 7:00 PM

Hospital Auditorium, Glen Ridge

Tour of the Birthing Center

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_ec80b979e3fb86b0f869_asm_spring2_2018_cover-small

Mon, June 18, 7:00 PM

Montclair Public Library, Montclair

Trump’s Trade War & Impact of the New Tariff Plan

Mon, June 18, 7:30 PM

Studio Playhouse, Upper Montclair

AUDITIONS: Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator

To the Editor: Labor Unions Have Set Standards for Americans

June 5, 2018

To the Editor:

I want to alert every working American to a case now before the U.S. Supreme Court.  It is called “Janus vs. AFSCME” and it seeks to defund and cripple the same labor unions that, over decades, have raised every American’s standard of living.

Even if your workplace is not unionized, you can thank our American labor unions for locking in higher standards ...

Montclair Police Blotter: Thai Chef Burglarized, Four iPhones Stolen and More

June 13, 2018

MONTCLAIR, NJ -  The following police blotter was compiled by the Montclair Police Department on June 12, 2018:

Burglary/Theft:

06-05-2018 (Union Street) Burglary to an apartment.  Cash was taken in this incident.  Access was gained through an unlocked rear door.  

06-05-2018 (Union Street) Theft of a scooter from the rear yard of a residence.

06-05-2018 (Elm ...

Kessler Foundation Seeks Volunteers with Spinal Cord Injury for New Study!

June 18, 2018

Kessler Foundation is a research center in West Orange, NJ that specializes in disability research. We are currently seeking individuals with spinal cord injury to participate in a new research study:

Dr. John O'Neill, principal investigator in Spinal Cord Injury research seeks volunteers for a spinal cord injury study. The purpose of this study is to identify ways of enhancing the ...