When I was in grad school, my old gaming buddy and I talked about opening a place like this back in the states. We did some planning and looked into obtaining the necessary venue and licenses, but abandon the idea for other pursuits.
You can imagine my excitement when I saw an article about this on Reddit a few weeks before a long-planned trip to Japan. When I walked in, the patrons were mostly 20 - 40 year old tourists and expats, sipping retro gaming-themed mixed drinks (Doctor Mario). They had a well curated collection of NES, SNES, Genesis, N64, and Dreamcast, as well as a couple couches with larger displays plugged into current-gen systems, and even an Oculus Rift!
The bar is bordered with classic video game boxes and other nostalgic objects. The lighting is perfect. They play chiptune and video-game themed music all night long, at a reasonable volume.
There are probably 6 or 7 different places you can sit down to play games. The owner has bartended there both nights I've gone. He's really helpful and down to earth. He is clearly a retro gaming enthusiast.
This cozy joint is a better implementation of a video game bar than I my friend and I ever dreamed of. I can't recommend this place highly enough. A perfect place to unwind after days of working or seeing the sights of Kansai, and a destination worthy of dedicated travel from nearby prefectures.
I wish the owner would create a venue like this in SF!
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