by Dave Daly
The weather has been a little dodgy lately and I’ve taken to an all-sweats lifestyle. In a hoodie, sweat pants and crocs I could go anywhere. When it’s cold like this, I usually end up going to the couch. Not tonight though. This evening I’m putting on real pants, shoes with laces and wandering in style. I’ll probably still wear a hoodie. It’s cold! Ok, off to Quarter Up.
If you aren’t in the know, Quarter Up combines old school arcade gaming and adult beverages. Barcades are nothing knew, but Akron was want for a respectable one until this fine establishment opened up back in September 2017. With nearly 40 machines and several home consoles setup on large screens, this place has got it going on.
I arrive around 7 pm and am greeted with a sizeable crowd and the faint smell of the deep fryer wafting from the kitchen. To prepare for this moment, I borrowed my daughter’s cat wallet and sorted $10 in quarters from my change cup. Now that I’m here I can get down to business and don’t have to waste precious time fooling around with the coin machine.
I meet my friend at the bar, grab a beverage and head for the Die Hard Arcade game. I love Die Hard. I don’t love this game. Is it worth a quarter? Hell, it’s worth two! Since almost all the games in the bar are either $.25 or $.50 it’s easy to get some enjoyment out of even the most mediocre offerings. After failing to save the president’s daughter, it’s time for some Off Road action. This game ruled when I was a kid and it still does now. I’ll be pushing that Nitro button all night long.
After lightening my coin purse a good bit on a few more arcade games, it’s time to hit the flippers. The pinball machines at Quarter Up are reason enough to come. With over 10 offerings, highlights include The Addams Family, Twilight Zone and Demolition Man. Anyone that says Demolition Man is lame can suck a lemon. The game is great, but the movie is even better and is available at the library. Seriously, I borrowed it not too long ago.
I don’t eat hot dogs because they’re usually made out of cow butts and pig snouts. That’s not to disparage those of you that do. In fact, you should eat hot dogs here! Apparently they make a damn fine wiener. They also have burgers, fries and these amazing cheese-filled pretzels that are baked to a crisp with crunchy cheese flecks on the outside. There’s a side of melted cheese for dipping too. Mmmmm… cheese. Vegetarians rejoice! There is a veggie burger on the menu that I will definitely be trying the next time I visit.
Apparently family hours are Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4:30 pm. However, it’s nearing 8 pm and there are definitely two or three youngsters still mucking about, somewhat supervised. Perhaps they’ll be asked to leave at some point, but it doesn’t bother me anyway. A few kids searching for free games and spare quarters adds to the place’s authenticity.
With the last of my quarters spent it’s time to push on home and get back into my sweat pants. Get your game on, folks! Quarter Up is the place to be. The pretzels are divine.
Quarter Up Bar Arcade
1446 N Portage Path
Hours: Mon – Tues, 4 – 10pm; Wed – Thur, 4 – 11pm;
Friday, 4pm – 1am; Saturday, 12pm – 1am; Sunday, 12 – 10pm