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Emporium Arcade Bar

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17 Ratings
Ratings: 17
Reviews: 4
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: n/a
Taps: 24
Bottles: --
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar ]

1366 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, Illinois, 60622-9149
United States
phone: (773) 697-7922

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Place added by: MasterSki on 09-16-2012

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Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 17 | Reviews: 4 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by mynie:
Photo of mynie
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Wicker Park Location; surprisingly not expensive.

Emporium came up on a phone search. I was skeptical in spite of the impressive tap list; was worried it'd be some Dave and Busters bullshit but with good beer.

And what's wrong with Dave and Busters? It's not an arcade, damnit! Nor is Chuck E. Cheese's. Those places are just sick, sad casinos for kids, where youngsters learn the addictive joy of paying too much money to watch lights flash around so they can have a minuscule chance of scoring enough tickets to buy a fun-sized Charleston Chew.

Like, seriously, what prizes can you get with Dave and Busters tickets? Smokes? Razors?

And, more seriously, what the hell kind of "adult" needs to supplement his drinking with carnival games?

So, yeah, bad feeling before we came in, and my initial impression of the vibe seemed to back that up. It was midnight-ish on a Friday, so the place was packed. Innocuous 80's music play ridiculously loudly. At times the shitty bass lines would rattle screens. That shit was lame when I was 20 and I got no time for it now.

The crowd was very young and, it turns out, very friendly. Hipsters don't go no problems with us early 30somethings, so long as we don't try and act cool. Try talking to a kid about something hip and millennial--like Lorde, or jenkum--and they'll throw you right out. But know your place. Talk about buying the latest Pavement record on cassette. They'll think that's dandy.

The beer list is excellent, as good as nearly any beer bar in town. There was nothing particularly great when we visited--no one offs or anything--but the variety was wide and they were all decently priced.

But the games! Oh, the games. They are actual arcade video games. The ones you place to try and get a high score. No ticket bullshit. Just original games in original cabinets, ranging from the late 70s to the mid-90s, with a surprising array of obscure and cult games.

If you are at all into retro games, stop here. If you also happen to enjoy beer, then goodness, this place is a borderline must visit. Probably be nicer earlier in the day, but it's still completely tolerable once it gets busy.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Barnoloid
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Emporium is a great barcade with well priced video games and pinball accompanied by a varied Tap list. They do not carry cans or bottles to save on waste, which is admirable and also leads to an eclectic choice of beers to go at. The draft selections vary - with rarely seen beers from both local and national breweries often found here, along with appropriate glassware. This bar brings in a large crowd on Friday and Saturday evenings. The upside is that this is a large bar with ample room away from the arcade games. Going on a Sunday or off peak time is usually a good idea.

Photo of Flabbyjandro
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of drewone
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of thewimperoo
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of waitwhatamidrinking
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of sweemzander
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of Nuggetz
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Crazymaskdude
4.16/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of birdsellam
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of cathomae
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Dexterityviking
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of 773-F-I-B
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of Fluffheady
3.5/5  rDev -14%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3.75

This place is really cool. It’s packed ALL the time, and they did so well in their first year that they expanded. A birdie told me that one of the owners used to be a bartender at Barcade in Brooklyn. They have a cool rotating beer list and it’s hard not to have a good time here. It’s just busy, and some people may be turned off by the younger hipster crowd.

Photo of scottwurst
3.5/5  rDev -14%

Photo of emerge077
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Dark and loud with punk and 80's Metallica playing, also Heart...huh. Early evening it was already fairly crowded on a friday after 5, but after returning from dinner, things took a turn for the weird. First a large tourbus pulled up, then a stream of 80's themed LGBT revelers packed in the place. We spotted Boy George, Michael Jackson, Pac Man, a tennis guy chicken hawk,lots of spandex and florescent colors.

The night before there was an east coast tap takeover, so the drafts were exclusively from Allagash, DFH, Sixpoint, Smuttynose, Southern Tier, Victory, plus a handful of others. Interesting stuff such as Braumeister and a Berliner from Victory, Interlude, Smutty Baltic Porter, and more.

Vibe was kind of young, early 20's, card everybody at the door, grey hair(s) or not, lol.
Bartenders were quick and on point, despite the pub crawl and general bros whooping it up. Overall just about what you'd expect, but a nice focus on local craft with some interesting events coming up for CCBW. Seem to rotate taps, so worth a stop in, near quality food spots like Cumin, Harolds, & Antique Taco. Thanks Tbone for the tip!

Emporium Arcade Bar in Chicago, IL
91 out of 100 based on 17 ratings.