Whether you’re refueling in between games of Madden or plunking down your quarters on The Last Barfighter to get your next pour, video games and beer often go hand-in-hand. So, it made sense to Columbus, Ohio’s Troy Allen to combine the two fun pastimes to open the new 16-Bit Bar and Arcade.
Crain’s Cleveland Business reported that Allen, who is also the founder of Columbus’ Arena District branding and marketing firm Elevate Thinking, is hoping that his new establishment is seen as more than just a local watering hole. From Crain’s:
I don’t want to open a bar,” owner Troy Allen told me. “I want to open a business.”
The retro watering hole will focus on high-end premium cocktails with era-specific names like the Molly Ringwald and Don Johnson. Allen, a self-professed bourbon fan said there will be particular attention paid to that spirit. The space has a full liquor license so wine will be available and it’ll have 12 taps for beer, plus a broad bottle selection. The bar will be in the center of the room with the games lined around the perimeter. Each game will have a small table next to it for food and drinks and there will be smartphone chargers and plugs throughout.
While Crain’s reported that Allen will feature such arcade classics as Pac-Man, Rampage, NBA Jam and Donkey Kong, it is unclear what the establishment’s beer selection will be.
Of course, 16-Bit Bar and Arcade is well positioned to capitalize on Columbus’ grown craft beer market. Other local business, like Cambria Suites, has already leveraged the popularity of craft beer to boost sales. As Eric Bean, Columbus Brewing Co. brewmaster, told Craft Brewing Business when we caught up with him at the Ohio Craft Brewers Association’s Winter Warmer event earlier this year, there are opportunities for all craft brewers in the Ohio market.
“There is opportunity and places to grow. There’s opportunity for us to take over tap handles from out-of-state brewers. The local movement is strong,” he explained. “Wholesale distributors’ awareness of the industry and their desire to participate is huge. They recognize that there’s money to be made and they’re willing to play ball.”