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Review: It’s game on at 16-Bit Bar + Arcade

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The game is on for the 16-Bit Bar + Arcade, but gaming alone is not the only reason you should visit one of Columbus’ newest fixations.

The 16-Bit Bar, which opened Aug. 30 on 254 S. 4th St, is a newly minted bar that has parlayed an idea of combining both gaming and drinking into something special and are beginning to see the rewards which follow.

Jeni Van Hemert, the bar’s manager, was adamant in describing the kind of atmosphere the bar brings to those looking to have a great time.

“Our crowds over the last two months have been so diverse, we like to call our bar an adult playhouse,” Van Hemert said. “We have a great new place that offers an adult-like type of entertainment that differs from your typical bar setting.”

The first thing you experience when you walk in is how much different the ambiance is from your average bar around town or on campus. With multiple tables, big screens positioned throughout the walls and enough space to feel comfortable, 16-Bit allows customers a new place to sit down and have a great time.

But, the real reason people will flock to the 16-Bit Bar is for the multitude of old-school arcade games, both in single and multi-player fashion. Throughout the bar, all stations are free for everyone to play — the bar just expects a beer or cocktail to be sitting on the table next to the game while you are doing it. Not a bad trade off to relive playing some of the greatest arcade games in history, ranging from “NBA Jam,” “Pac-Man,” “Donkey Kong,” “Mortal Kombat” and “Street Fighter.”

Along with the games, we cannot forget this resting stop is a bar and has plenty of selections for all your different types of drinkers. The bar recognizes the importance of having your basic beer on hand, such as Bud Light or Miller Lite, but specializes in creating a wide selection of craft beers combined with both old school and new school cocktails, all aptly named for former or current entertainers. Mainstays such as the “Burt Reynolds” ($8, bourbon, sugar, orange, cherry and Angostura bitters) or “Farrah Fawcett” ($8, citron, Cointreau, lemon, lime, orange and sugar rim) gives drinkers cocktail options coupled with a multitude of craft beers, such as Four String Skeleton Red IPA or Breckenridge Agave Wheat (both $6). Both of these options serve as a great place to start before heading over to the arcade games.

Creating daily specials during the week, such as Mortal Monday or Wayback Wednesday, gives customers a chance to experience an exceptional setting every night out. The quality of the selection of arcade games is enough to attract a younger generation to the bar, but also serves as a great place for older adults to come and enjoy themselves as well.

By being one of Columbus’ most distinct bars, the 16-Bit Bar + Arcade has turned nostalgia for some into bliss for all, and that’s something everyone can game to.

The 16-Bit Bar is opened seven days a week and you must be 21 or over to enter.

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