Pints and Pinball: Chicago’s Barcades

Headquarters Beercade

By Dustin Ford

A barcade: a bar arcade. The name says it all. It’s one of the coolest ways to get a buzz and have fun along the way. Each one has its own amazing atmosphere and special events on a regular basis. You get to act like a kid while still having the benefits of being an adult.

Headquarters Beercade

Walking into Headquarters is like walking into the man cave you wish you had growing up. Have a mixed drink made from liquor on shelves made from old TVs, pour a beer from taps made of old microphones, or just enjoy brunch while playing Pacman. This barcade has over 65 arcade cabinets and pinball machines, and it has a DJ booth surrounded by a wall of classic CDs


With a location in Wicker Park and Fulton Market, these barcades have the clean-cut look of modern breweries. Plenty of open space lets this place breathe while allowing enough room for concerts to be held. Arcade cabinets run along the walls, which are painting with murals featuring classical videogame characters.

Logan Arcade

This arcade prides itself on being the “best-maintained and largest public collection of pinball and video games in Chicago.” You’ll find plenty of unique games and drinks here that you might not find anywhere else in the city. If that wasn’t enough, they also have live magic shows!


This Lincoln Park favorite brings people in from around the city. These guys are not afraid to let their personality and creativity spill out for special events. For example, in May they turned the entire bar into a pop-up featuring the failed Frye festival!

Uptown Arcade

One of the quainter barcades with big bar energy. Free games and reasonably priced drinks make this a barcade that people tend to frequent. Be sure to come during movie night to get that retro feel.

Check out our blog for more stuff to do.

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