16-Bit Bar + Arcade

Your Rating: None
Very Good
12 Ratings

Type: Bar, Beer-to-go

254 S 4th St
Columbus, Ohio, 43215-5215
United States

(614) 222-1616 | map

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Added by jvh on 10-10-2014

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Ratings: 12 |  Reviews: 3
Photo of Antichrist-Kommando
4.26/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

I've been going here since it opened and the vibe has changed a bit from the early days. Used to be a place solely for hipsters and nerds, now a lot of "young professionals" have moved in. Overall the crowd is more diverse than it was at first open. It's a great place if you like arcade games, as they have some good ones. Really wish they had Street Fighter 2 still. They also have an SNES, NES, and N64 available if you prefer console gaming. I think they may also have a Genesis but I haven't seen it in awhile so it may be getting some work done.

Great selection of canned crafts, and some canned domestic macros for those who are into that sort of thing. They also have their own uniquely named cocktails, like the Dolph Lundgren (Moscow Mule) or the Cheech Marin (margarita.)

Service is usually very good, though if you're in there on a Friday or Saturday night, it may take a minute to get your drink. It's not a huge bar and it's usually only 2 or 3 bartenders working, doing the best they can. There's also a cocktail waitress on Friday and Saturday nights that comes around to check if you need anything. Bartenders and servers are all very friendly. They do card, so always make sure you have an ID. I don't know why you wouldn't have your ID on you, but it does seem to be an issue for some people.

The draught list, however, leaves something to be desired. They have twelve draughts. The first few years 16-Bit was open they prided themselves on their selection of craft draughts and cans, and had the aforementioned macro domestics in cans for the less adventurous. They had a good variety of styles, too. However, over the last year or two, their draught list has become very disappointing. Almost all of their draughts are IPAs. and there's usually at least one draught cider. A few months ago, I counted 5 IPAs! Out of 12 beers, almost half of them were the same style. They've also recently thrown Bud Light on draught as if that were necessary. Something something corporate overlords.

Overall it's a great bar, the games are fun, the can selection and cocktails are excellent, so I can't dock them too hard, but they really gotta get back on the ball with that draught list.

 2,202 characters

Photo of ejimhof
3/5  rDev -24.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3

Photo of dlin0sbb
4.23/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Excellent selection of games- I'm biased toward the N64 that's usually on one of the front tv screens, but the classics are always enjoyable. Decent beer selection, a lot of locals. Can get a bit too crowded at times, I don't like being nearly humped while playing pac man. Overall though I'm happy with a place with free vintage video games as long as you have a beer in hand!

 377 characters

Photo of akopczyk
4.66/5  rDev +18%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Photo of mklisz
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4

Photo of mynie
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

I'm glad that Barcades are becoming enough of a thing that I can differentiate between good and not-so-good ones. This is a trend that needs to take off.

And no, I'm not talking about Dave and Busters. That's not a barcade. That's a Chuck E. Cheese for fratboys. Barcades features old games and don't give out tickets. They are for overgrown, cynical children like myself.

Anyhow, as neat as this sub-genre of beer place is, they kinda can't be reviewed by normal standards. Hence the following:


The vibe? Unpretentious, fairly well-lit. The crowd was younger and hipstery but not oppressively so. It's right next to the Greyhound station, and as Greyhound stations are always the most depressing places on earth that spills over a bit onto the street. They also don't allow you to bring in roller bags, which was kind of a shitty curveball.

Game selection: not as top notch as, say, Chicago's Emporium or Crabtowne USA in Glen Burnie, but better than your average vintage arcade. Cabinets are all genuine and well-maintained, good selection of vector graphics games. Selection leans heavily toward 70s and 80s machines, with only a handful of late 80's and 90's standbys. Highlights include a Star Wars Arcade machine (sadly not a cockpit version, though) and a Paperboy machine with handlebars. Very limited pinball selection. They also have an N64 you can play and a machine that emulates NES and SNES.

Extras: All the games are free so long as you're drinking! (Pinball is 50 cents, though).

Beers: About a halfdozen taps, almost entirely Ohio craft. Another two dozen bottles and cans. Selection is solid but beer is secondary to the games and so the lists aren't updated too regularly and the staff might not know everything about the beers. They also have a solid liquor selection and will make you an Icee with booze in it.

Overall I had a very nice time. Not exactly a premier beer destination, but a really fun place nonetheless.

 2,020 characters

Photo of Shockey
4.36/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 3.75

Photo of Krismck1760
4.09/5  rDev +3.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75

Photo of GOBLIN
3.56/5  rDev -9.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3

Thought it was a pretty cool place.

35 characters

Photo of DrJGR629
3.62/5  rDev -8.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3

If you're a child if the eighties, you have to roll to 16-bit and play track and field

86 characters

Photo of zimm421
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

16-Bit Bar + Arcade in Columbus, OH
Place rating: 3.95 out of 5 with 12 ratings