6 Reasons to Visit Up-Down “Barcade” in Des Moines

Up-Down Barcade in Des Moines

Up-Down, a new 80’s and 90’s themed “barcade” (arcade + bar = barcade), has opened in the Historic East Village of Des Moines.

Up-Down features more then 40 arcade games from the 80’s and 90’s with favorites like: Ms. Pacman, Mortal Kombat, Mario Bros., Street Fighter, NBA Jam, Centipede, X-Men, The Simpsons and Galaga (one of my personal favorites). The new barcade is also home to six pinball machines, a larger-than-life Connect 4 game, giant Jenga, skee-ball, Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64. It’s a gamers heaven.

The bar has 20 craft beers on tap and a menu of arcade-inspired cocktails such as Mario-garitas, Princess Peach Punch and DK’s Rootbeer Barrel.

The TV’s even have old school programming. American Gladiators was playing during our first visit. (Nothing better than people in spandex hitting each other with giant Q-tips.) Overall, Up-Down really plays to the nostalgia of everything totally rad about growing up in the 80’s and 90’s.

Six Reasons to Visit Up-Down:

  1. The location and decor make visitors feel like they’re back in 7th grade…hanging out in a friend’s basement.
  2. Up-Down is an arcade without children (must be 21 + ).
  3. There’s a Gremlin’s poster on the wall. (Furbies still creep me out because of that movie.)
  4. ALL of the games are just 25 cents. Cheap entertainment, folks.
  5. Next to each arcade game is a beverage ledge, which conveniently allows visitors to enjoy an adult beverage while gaming. (Two birds. One stone.)
  6. It’s the perfect location for a date night, girls’ night out, happy hour or college reunion.

The Details:

Location: 500 E. Locust Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50309

Hours: Open Daily 5 PM – 2 AM

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