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Barcade

Not Rated.
BarcadeBarcade
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

29 Ratings
Ratings: 29
Reviews: 11
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: n/a
Taps: 25
Bottles: --
Cask: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

1114 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19125-4118
United States
phone: (215) 634-4400

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @barcadephilly

Notes:
Place added by: pnkermiz on 10-09-2011

No notes at this time.
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 29 | Reviews: 11
Reviews by DoubleSimcoe:
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.79/5  rDev -6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.25

---- A little re-reviewing of Barcade----

Now that I live in Philadelphia, I stop by Barcade often enough to like it. I go during the week and it is never crowded. In fact, it is almost always incredibly empty when I visit. The tap list usually has something interesting/rare, and I like chilling there for a bit.

I was there for their 3rd Anniversary Party and the beer lineup was absolutely insane.

Bartenders have that hipster attitude, but whatever, fuck them.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The wife and I left Johnny Brenda’s earlier than expected and heading back to the car, I spotted a big “BARCADE” sign. We had had enough beers and bar visits on us that day but, hey, you gotta do what you gotta do.

I had recently visited and reviewed Barcade Brooklyn and loved the space and how chill and empty it was. It was hipster but quiet. The Philadelphia version was, at least on a Saturday night, a totally different story. It was so immensely packed we could barely move around. Lucky for me I made my way to the bar (which is right across from the main entrance) and managed to order two beers, a Wookey Jack for the wife and a Sixpoint Bolshoi for me. 13 dollars for both, not too bad. The menu is written on chalkboard and straddles a good amount of wall space so forget about reading it all on a packed night.

I didn’t see any of the arcade games that made Barcade famous… but let me tell you, we hung outside at a cobblestoned patio by the entrance and it was rather lovely. The bouncer was pissed, folks were pissed in the British sense and the clientele struck me as douchey.

More User Reviews:
Photo of jjboesen
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Following visits to Yards and Kraftworks, respectively, I finished the day with a trip to this recent addition to the Fishtown scene. Located a few steps south of the Frankford/Girard intersection, Barcade is situated in a well-worn brick structure that was probably a warehouse - or something industrial. Today it is a dimly lit venue with a long bar extending from the entrance to the rear, where there is plenty of space for drinking, eating, socializing and, yes, playing the arcade games lining the rear wall. It was rather crowded and difficult to move about ....

Perusing the chalkboard above the bar, you immediately notice that Barcade offers 25 well selected, oft-rotating drafts, which included: Duck Rabbit Imperial Stout, Victory Fall Bockwards, Founders Backwoods Bastard and something called Gorilla Warfare. Service was okay with the bartender rather lax on the all-important Water Test. Note: Bring your ID.

Food was tasty, but served in small portions. This was fine as the Cuban Breakfast Sandwich I had at Kraftwork (See Reveiw) was still warming my belly. As noted above, Barcade can be included in your Fishtown crawl with the above-mentioned places - along with Frankford Hall, a German biergarten, and Fette Sau, both of which are a few blocks north of Girard. Barcade was a decent place. It is accessible to SEPTA via the Trolley and Bus.

Photo of Slatetank
4.14/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4

We headed into Philly for a show and decided to get some lunch and a beer or 3 in a nearby establishment. I looked up a multitude of tap lists and locations and decided I just wanted somewhere within walking distance so ended up at Barcade.

The place is comfortable and was easy to find with a long bar and a patio area/bike parking for smokers. The simplicity is what I like -a couple arcade videogames in the bar area and they have spirits/wine for those who don't like beer. The food was served quick and it was delicious a beer and sandwich with chips and a pickle for 10 bucks-pretty reasonable. I ordered the Turkey special with goat cheese and roasted peppers and my wife got a cuban both panini style. Overall we had fun and I was able to try or 5 quality beers I haven't had before so I left happy.

Photo of mactrail
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

Great variety of regional beers. Several from Sixpoint, Victory, Bavarian, Dock St., Manyunk, Round guys, Roy Pitz, sly Fox, Troegs, and Weyerbacher. I counted 24 taps plus cask (Victory Ranch R IPA).

Big roomy L-shaped place. The end with the bar towards the street is quieter with no speakers. This is truly a neighborhood experience, assuming your neighborhood is slowly coming back from being depopulated and bombed out. But it's close to the elevated train station and not actually as scary as three-fourths of old Philly.

A little patch of dirt by the side entry for smoking and another smoke-free zone by the graffitied truck trailer. This is the new post-industrial landscape. Barcade is the vanguard, surrounded by boarded-up factory buildings.

About 40 arcade video games are the main attraction, plus music from First Wave to trash thrash. NIcely arranged bar area with an assortment of surplus institutional chairs. Decor is partly cleaned brick with woodwork distressed by the industrial past. Food ranges from pickled hop shoots to orange-thyme tofu sandwich. Overall, a memorable joint and it's on my list next trip to Philadelphia.

[Notes transcribed from 28 May 2012 visit]

Photo of ColForbinBC
4.03/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

A brick, warehouse looking building from the outside. Not a whole lot to look at. Once you enter, a good sized bar greets you. Off to the right the room opens up, and you find copious amounts of arcade games lining the walls. Centrally located are some picnic tables. The setup is similar to the other locations, but this has a smarter, cleaner feel to it.

The inside is all brick with very high ceilings giving it a warehouse feel. The games contain all of the usual suspects and the tap list is always legit. This is a great place to check out periodically for something different than your typical beer bar.

Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.75

Been to the one in Brooklyn so gave this place a try and had a great time with the wife - the server (we went on a Tuesday night and it wasn't that packed) was real cool, especially when my wife asked for a Bud Light (ugh). She recommended a pilsner for my ol' lady and she enjoyed it, and I found a nice brown ale to keep me occupied. So as for the place it's a a converted warehouse/garage type atmosphere with tons of 80s arcade games to chill with or sit around the bar and BS. Everything was nice, and perhaps my selection is lower than other reviews due to the double edged sword that I'm a little bit of a jaded snob and that I hit two other beer bars before this that had an incredible selection. Nonetheless, great place and as for the beer you will find some local or national microbrew on tap or cask that you probably haven't had before so don't worry about finding some Philly stuff and a bunch of Budweiser crap.

Photo of slander
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Philly, on the heels of two shortys (yes, Davo is offended) at Kraftwerk and a suckling pig sandwich with broc rabe & sharp prov (is there any other way?), and hold the hots, please, at Paesano’s. And now Barcade; my first time out having missed the soft opening conflicted with a beer festival somewhere (Kennett Square?), and fuck, I’m due. I’m overdue, even. And I probs need to check in again in JC. But today...

An easy walk from where I parked out front of Johnny Brenda’s. Where is, oh wait, you can see the logo on the side of the wall halfway down the street. Enter through the little brickyard side and in. The bar seems to be a rounded “L” with a concrete top, black wood well & steel trim, wood slat/panel base, and a phat wood phoot box, seating 18 on mismatched stools, fool. The barback holds 2 dozen taps on a long row on stainless steel paneled box on center, with bottles, pics, a Tom Jones record, a toy car, and other pieces atop. Tiered booze on black wood counterings to both sides, shimmery glow rope lit. Glassware shelved below; pints and otherwise, and cupboardiness on the ends. Mounted above, a long horizontal, well, no, it’s not a blackboard, it’s more a chunk of iron or something, the taps printed there in rows of 8 each, illuminated stripped above. The quintessential board with jerky & snacks off to the left on the big brick barback wall. More brick behind me on the opposite wall with some bar counter space there. Slat wood floors and a row of drop ping pong ball lamps running over the bar.

Up front, the walls of wood plankiness, with a nearly a ½ dozen tables. The front windows barred and others frosted above, and 3 video games sitting in ‘coming soon’ mode, one of which is a mini Turbo (Paul, you are a cruel, cruel man). And down past the end of the bar, a brick arch way opens to the widened room to the rear holding a shorty piece of the bar extended through, rounding out the rounded ends; looks to seat 6 or so. All in all, seating for 2 dozen on a “C”ish shaped bar through 2 rooms.

Inner wall of brick with a large horizontal board listing high scores, exits to the outdoor space (benchings and tableage out there amidst smells of the neighborhood), on the opposite wall, with windows in between and more bar counter space. And the rear wall of corrugated foldiness, with darkened windows to nowhere and brewery neons. Concrete floorings, wood beam upright trees with crossbeams angled, and wood rafter ceilings slightly raised on center. Exposed ducts, a few spinnys, drop ping pong ball lamps, and single bulb mounts along the exterior space walls. Video games, video games, and video games along the perimeter; just shy of 3 dozen in all. And longish narrow hightop tables seating a dozen or so on each with paper bag baby bulb lighting.

So, 2 dozen taps, all of it American craft beer, no surprise there. ¾ of them local/regional (Troegs Nugget Nectar, Old Forge Celestial Blonde, Victory Old Horizontal ’09, Weyerbacher Heresy, Manayunk Monk from the Yunk, Voodoo Cowbell, Sixpoint Sweet Action, Resin & SMP, Allagash White, Harpoon Vermont Spruce Tip & Cider, Ithaca Flower Power, Brooklyn Pennant Pale Ale, Cricket Hill East Coast Lager, DogFishHead World Wide Stout, Stillwater As Follows, Flying Dog Kujo Coffee Stout), and ¼ from afar (Oskar Blues Mama’s Lil’ Yellow Pils, New Holland Dragon’s Milk, Lost Abbey Carnevale, Anderson Valley Bahl Hornin’ Leeber Zeese Oatmeal Porter, Stone Old Guardian, Green Flash Le Freak). And Victory Hop Devil on the handpump, the handle just to the left of the tap box. I drank Stillwater As Follows, Anderson Valley Leeber Zeese, & Sixpoint SMP. Beer was clean & fresh.

The people serving were cool. Actually, they’ve been upgraded to better than all that. They do food, small stuff, snacks & sangwiches. There were a bunch that sounded really damn good but we were all Paesano’d out. Good tunes, I mean, who plays Pink Floyd’s ‘Biding my time’? (Qualifier for instant awesome). We have decided that it is a great space, and a close second place to Barcade ‘Burg. Good chill house, lucky neighborhood.

Photo of orangesol
4/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Other than the art on the side of the building I would have no idea this place is even here. I have wanted to check out Barcade since it opened so we stopped in after brunch at Memphis Taproom.

I am pretty sure we were the first people in the place that day. Selection was pretty good, some leftovers from PBW I think. I decided to go with a Barrel Aged Siberian Night, don't see that every day. Service was good, but we were the only people there after all. We had just eaten so no food on this trip.

Once I got my beer it was time to play some games. All the games are .25 which is awesome as it allows you to play lost of them for not very much money. All of the classics are there and I had no trouble playing the ones I wanted to play.

Overall a really fun place to hang out. I am not sure if I would like this place if it was packed but on a day like this it was very enjoyable. I will return for sure.

Photo of rfgetz
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Barcade is housed in an old garage/industrial space and keeps much of that charm in its design - rusty iron, pitted concrete, stained musty wood, dim lighting. Looong bar upon entry, seats 20+ and stretches from the front to the back. A rail with seating on the wall opposite the bar and some small tables also at the front. The back area, with a high ceiling keeps the same feel with some neon brewery signs. This area houses the 25 or so classic video games along the perimeter - all playable for $0.25, most work okay but some units show heavy wear on the sticks or buttons. There is a small ledge between each game cabinet for placing your brews down. 2 long tables in the middle of the room seat an additional 25+, small outside area seats a few more.

20+ beers on tap and a cask offering. Good chunk of local brews (Troegs, Victory, Sly Fox) with some major national craft labels (Founders, Allagash, Bells etc.) A gem or two can be found at any given time and beer evets regularly held here.

Food is only major gripe - quickly assembled sandwhiches from average ingredients make up most of the menu. The items appeared interesting, but didnt deliver. A grilled cheese with tomato spread tasted more like a pizza, a cuban sandwhich was too hammy and fatty, deviled eggs lacked flavor. Its cheap, so ya get what you pay for. Service was hit more miss - some tenders unattentive, others on their game. Overall, i'd be back if a good beer or two was available.

Photo of BARFLYB
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I have a confession to make. I used to tend bar at the tender age of ten. I used to frequent a local Olney bar named The Cracker Barrel with my pop. I did not drink there, but the bartender used to pour the beers and allow me to serve them to the patrons. They would in turn tip me a quarter so I could play the arcade games available.

Fast forward 21 years and now I find myself at Barcade in Philly. There is something about the old time arcade games and simpleness of it all with a few buttons and a toggle stick. Im not tending bar here, but now im drinking and playing old video games at the same time, a great match.

This is a nice departure from the average gastropub. Barcade boasts 25 or so taps and I think they have some bottles for consumption. A nicely sized space with ceiling space, there is plenty of room. A small smoking/drinking area outside the entrance, once inside, the bar is straight ahead with a the familiar beer chalkboard. Most of the inside is brick wall and semi industrial looking. Bar seats 20 or so.

To the right some small seating areas leading into the arcade room with games hugging the walls throughout. Making a U-turn to the left a entrance way to 6 seperate bathrooms that are filled with graffiti. I like how they made enough bathrooms for the patrons, nice touch.

The arcade games were sweet and brang me back to old times. I wanted to play some of my faves from back in the day, but they were being hogged by dorks. The beer selection was supurb when I visited on the 1st day of beer week 2012. I drank a bunch of supplication, i kicked the keg. The bartenders were in good spirits and friendly. There was also security which I understand because of the young crowd. I'll be back soon, but in the daytime with less of a crowd and no security guards looming over me.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.14/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Barcade Philly is very much like the original in its concept, but it's nicer in its decor, the games seem better, and there's more bathroom space.

Located on Frankford Avenue, almost right below I-95 (don't mistake it for The Handle Bar), the building is painted-red brick with black windows and doors - but you enter through a small cobblestone courtyard on the right. The building is flanked by chain link fence to the north, and there's a large spiral bike rack to keep your ride safe. On your left you'll find two large wood & glass doors, and for now at least, you'll also find a "doorman" who'll check your ID regardless of your age. As you enter, the bar is in front of you and the game room is to the right. All of the walls are exposed brick, and it almost takes you back in time. If you enter the game room and wrap around to the left the bathrooms are there, essentially behind the bar. There's a warm, yellow light to the bar area, and it works well with the decor; and in the game room there are brewery neons behind industrial looking windows above the games. It's a very fun atmosphere, but there's enough charm and down to earth character (the communal seating tables in the center of the room, exposed wooden beams and ceiling, etc.) that it keeps from becoming casino-like.

And unlike the Brooklyn location where you might find evil Davo and a few nerdy dudes playing a few of the games on a good day, almost all of the arcade games (Defender, Tetris, Double Dragon, Joust, etc.) that line the walls are in use, and most have a group of friends gathered around watching. I have no doubt that this is due to the newness of it all, but it's interesting to see it going on while it's still 'hot'.

The beer selection is great, and here's the list from last nights visit:
What’s on Tap Thursday!!! on OCTOBER 20, 2011
21st Amendment Back In Black
Avery Salvation
Ballast Point Sculpin
Bell’s Oarsmen
Blue Point Hoptical Illusion (cask)
Brooklyn Pilsner
Central Waters Brewhouse Coffee Stout
Cigar City Hotter Than Helles Lager
Doc’s Cassis
Doc’s Pear Cider
Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
Harpoon Dočesná
Ithaca Nut Brown
Ithaca Thirteen
Long Trail Triple Bag
New Holland Dragon’s Milk
Philadelphia Brewing Co. Joe Coffee Porter
Ramstein Classic
Sixpoint Signal
Sixpoint Spice of Life (Chinook)
Sly Fox O’Reilly’s Irish Stout (nitro)
Troegs Flying Mouflan
Victory Moonglow
Weyerbacher Verboten
Williamsburg AleWerks White

I didn't try the food, but my wife was interested in a few of the items and I'm sure we'll be back soon to give them a whirl. The menu includes:

"Small Stuff":
Hummus and Toasts with Pickled Hop Shoots – $4
Sriracha Deviled Eggs – 2 for $3
Nutella and Bacon on Toast – $4
Smoked Pork and Green Sauce Tacos – $5
Quesadilla w/ Chorizo – $5

"Sandwiches":
Shallot Marinated Short Rib w/ Sweet Onions & Smoked Gouda – $8
Turkey Breast w/ Cranberry Chutney and Jarelsberg Cheese – $8
Vegan Marinated Tofu & Pickle Salad Wrap w/ Cilantro & Jalapeno – $6
House Smoked Duck Breast w/ Shallot Pear Jam & Black Creek Blue Cheese – $9
Bourbon Maple Bacon w/ Baby Arugula, Tomato & Rye Aioli – $7
Pressed 3 Cheese on Sourdough – $6 add Bacon $2

Quite importantly, the service was good. It's a very busy place right now, and the staff is able to handle it readily while still being pleasant and accommodating.

Overall, given it's close proximity to Johnny Brenda's and Frankford Hall, you'd be remiss to not drop in and have a pint while out. Toss Kraftwork into the mix and you've got a great pub crawl going.

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Barcade in Philadelphia, PA
90 out of 100 based on 29 ratings.