In 2013, I had the good fortune to be able to go on a cross-country road trip...honestly, something everyone should experience at least once. We took the southern route, which took us down to Austin, Texas.

While in Austin, I was able to experience what was a relatively new phenomenon at the time: the "arcade bar".

What is an arcade bar?

It combines the fun of your youth with the fun of adulthood. It's playing Pac-Man or Mortal Kombat, while enjoying your favorite adult beverage.

Back in 2013, I was completely unaware of this incredible combination. However, I was all about it, and also wondering how many decades it would take for this phenomenon to actually reach Maine. I think we all know Maine isn't exactly the fastest-moving state to pick up trends.

However, I could not have been more wrong.

Maine Arcade Bars

In 2014 Portland's Arcadia National Bar opened its doors to massive success. Located on Preble Street at the time, Arcadia was loaded with vintage arcade games, pinball machines, and even modern consoles, plus craft beer, signature cocktails, and even a small food menu.

I remember it being a hit right away. There were even long waits to get in.

Arcadia's success has now seen them move to Congress St to a larger location. Of course this meant more space for more games and more fun.

Arcadia National Bar via Facebook
Arcadia National Bar via Facebook

The success also means there's clearly a strong market for arcade bars in Maine, so it's not surprising to see other establishments open up.

Drip City in Waterville has solidified itself as Central Maine's adult fun pad. The bar boasts a 50 beer club (awesome) and a serious room devoted to tons of arcade games. The food menu is loaded with favorites, especially on the appetizer end of things. Yes, there's an entire page devoted to appetizers, the perfect bite for playing arcade games. Drip City has survived the pandemic and seems to have a very bright future.

Drip City via Facebook
Drip City via Facebook

The latest arcade bar to open is just down the street from Portland.

Wessie's Den in Westbrook, is brand new, and looking to build off of the others' success. The bar is loaded with vintage arcade games and pinball machines, and according to an article in the Portland Press Herald, Wessie's will accept cryptocurrency, truly showing what the future may hold.

Wessie's Den via Facebook
Wessie's Den via Facebook

Also, tremendous name choice. A very solid throwback to the days of a python haunting the streets of Westbrook.

There's no reason to believe Wessie's Den won't be successful. Just by looking at the path Arcadia and Drip City have taken, there's a certainly a great blue print of what it takes to make it in this industry.

While there's more arcades in Maine, mostly at fun parks and bowling alleys, there's something truly unique about arcade bars. The nostalgia, the "adult-only" atmosphere, and of course the alcohol all make this fad one that doesn't seem to be slowing down any time soon.

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