We here at The Nerd Mentality feel pretty strongly about a number of things, including but not limited to video games, arcades, and pub grub. Thus, it was with great excitement that we discovered a new Barcade opening up in our little neighborhood here in the Pacific Northwest. After making some inquiries, were were lucky enough to secure an interview with the owner of Gamers Arcade Bar, Mr. Adam Norwest!
The Nerd Mentality: Mr. Norwest, thank you so much for taking some time to speak with us about your new arcade drinking experience!
Adam Norwest: Thanks for having me!
TNM: So, tell us, what is your experience in the hospitality, restaurant, and entertainment industries?
AN: I worked in pizza places and restaurants starting around the time I turned 16. When I was 22, I started touring doing comedy full time, and in 2010 opened Tacoma Comedy Club. Earlier this year, I opened Spokane Comedy Club, and now I am extremely excited for the grand opening of my newest venture, Gamers Arcade Bar.
TNM: Interesting! This is not your first rodeo then. This appears to be the first Barcade in Spokane, have you run similar businesses before?
AN: I have not run an arcade bar, just the comedy clubs I mentioned. They are similar in the fact that they are “Destination Bars.” You go there for a reason, beyond the desire to simply drink. I have good friends who own an arcade bar in Renton, WA called The 8-Bit, and they have given me a ton of great advice.
TNM: It’s likely a great boon to be able to draw upon their advice as well as your own experience. On that note, what was your inspiration that led you to the conclusion of alcohol-infused arcade?
AN: I don’t know if inspiration is the right word, or… well… what IS the word for getting drunk and trying to beat your wife at air hockey? Is there a term for that? That’s where my inspiration comes from, my muse so to speak. It’s such a fun concept, and I love that I can spread it to Spokane and the community there.
TNM: We are happy for the opportunity to play in an honest to goodness arcade, hopefully with a cold one in our hands. What is your favorite game?
AN: My favorite arcade game is NBA Jam… but I have a few favorites. I think I am the best all time at Super Off-Road, and will challenge anyone, anytime. Bring your quarters!
TNM: We’ve been known to bring the boom-shaka-laka, and we are certainly down with Ivan “Ironman” Stewart. We’ll certainly be taking you up on that invitation! What sorts of games do you plan on stocking the bar with? Strictly stand-up cabinets? Will there be any sort of consoles or PCs around? MAME cabinets? Boardgames?
AN: Mostly stand-up cabinets. We will also have a handful of pinball machines, and an air hockey machine. The bar is small, but will have high quality machines for your entertainment.
TNM: It’s been far too long since we have played some good pinball. Where are you getting your gaming hardware from? How about nerdy or game related decorations?
AN: We have various collectors who are supplying the gaming hardware. The nerdy and game related decor is also coming from a variety of places. We have these killer bar lights that are light up ? mark boxes (it was from a kickstarter campaign), and we had an incredible mural painted by Ashley from Pinot’s Palette.
TNM: We love seeing some local art talent showcased! This seems like the perfect venue for that. Will you be serving any Geek Culture themed food or drink?
AN: Our Hot Dog and Specialty Drink Menu are all named after Geek themed items. My favorite drink is “Butter Beer”, which is Root Beer, Butterscotch Liquor, and Vanilla Vodka.
TNM: That sounds delicious. Your wonderful staff offered me a sample before we met, and I have to say – Spokane, drink the Butter Beer – you will not be disappointed. Is there a pay structure decided upon for play time at machines, like card systems or buying bulk time? Or will they be just like the good ol’ days with fistfuls of quarters?
AN: Quarters, all day long. Wear a belt 🙂
TNM: Excellent. Roll your coins, folks. Are you going to be using mobile games and platforms (like Pokemon Go) to augment the business? Any chance you will end up being a PokeStop or Gym?
AN: We already are a PokeStop because of this cool mural on the roof, and I hope that we can do more.
TNM: We’ll look forward to dropping lures and brews then! Any tournaments or events that you are looking to run?
AN: We plan to have weekly tournaments. Air Hockey, Pinball, Street Fighter, and who knows what else. We are open to suggestions, and are here to have fun. (Got suggestions? contact us!)
TNM: Splendid! What are your hours of operation, and when are you planning on opening?
AN: Monday-Friday we will open at 4 PM, and Saturday and Sunday at noon. We will be open until 2 AM every night. We are planning on opening as soon as possible. Just waiting on final state licensing.
TNM: Best of luck finishing up the paperwork. Anything you’d like to add, or say to our readers?
AN: Come give us a chance, and if you see me at the bar, let’s play some Off Road.
The Gamers Arcade Bar is located at 321 W. Sprague Ave.
Phone: (509) 318-9998
Stop by their Facebook page and give’m a like!