EightyTwo (82) Arcade Bar Brings Classic Gaming to the Arts District in Downtown LA

EightyTwo is a new arcade bar that grand opened this week in the Arts District in Downtown LA

EightyTwo is a new arcade bar that grand opened this week in the Arts District in Downtown LA

Did you grow up in the age of classic gaming (like me) in the 80s and 90s when going to the arcade was an absolute integral part of life? Remember the good ol’ days of lining up quarters on the arcade console waiting eagerly for your turn to challenge the “unbeatable” incumbent player on games like Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat? For me, it was all about Chun Li: “Yatta!” Walking into EightyTwo, now open in the Arts District in Downtown LA, is like taking a trip back in time when arcade game consoles were ubiquitous (7-Elevens used to be the hang out spot after school right?).

According to EightyTwo’s founders, Scott Davids and Noah Sutcliffe, the year 1982 — where the bar gets its name from — was the beginning of the “Golden Age” of classic gaming that spawned an entire generation of avid gamers who frequented arcades, often obsessively like myself!

Both Davids and Sutcliffe grew up during this age and were avid gamers like many of us, but their passion for classic arcade gaming really went above and beyond and compelled them to bring the arcade back to the present age where in-home and online gaming still reigns supreme. Davids had already been collecting arcade consoles for years and now has 37 total with titles like the aforementioned Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat II along with other classics like Pac-Man, Tron, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. There are currently 22 arcade games on the floor and will rotate with other games in the collection over time. In addition, an entire area dedicated to pin ball machines completes the gaming picture. Most games cost only a quarter to play.

My game request for Davids and Sutcliffe? A little known title from 1992 called “Time Killers” (click here to check it out on YouTube).

EightyTwo is a huge boon to the community as it took over a highly visible but once-underutilized one-story building on the northwestern edge of the Arts District at 3rd Street and Alameda. The industrial-like building is actually divided into two completely separate sections — what used to be an accounting office and a Japanese bookstore — with a small internalized surface parking lot wedged in between. Now, half of that parking lot has been converted into an outdoor courtyard with two imported trees becoming the perfect hang out spot for imbibers taking a break from gaming. The new courtyard connects the two sections helping to form an amazing cohesive and surprisingly intimate setting where gamers shuffle back and forth between the two sections: one filled with arcade game consoles and other pin ball machines.

Finally, what is my favorite part about EightyTwo besides the awesome collection of arcade games itself? The fact that Davids and Sutcliffe decided to put their front entrance along desolate 4th Place instead of bustling 3rd Street. By doing that simple act, people are now “forced” to walk along 4th Place to go inside the bar, helping to activate this stretch of the street and making the area feel safer and more vibrant, which will hopefully lead to more surrounding developments in the future.

For more info, please visit EightyTwo online.

EightyTwo (82) gets its name from 1982, which was the start of the "Golden Age" of arcade gaming

EightyTwo (82) gets its name from 1982, which was the start of the “Golden Age” of arcade gaming

I love the fact that the front entrance is along 4th Place instead of 3rd Street, helping to activate the once desolate corner

I love the fact that the front entrance is along 4th Place instead of 3rd Street, helping to activate the once desolate corner

People going to EightyTwo are now walking around the corner to 4th Place to get to the front entrance, helping to activate the once-desolate sidewalk

People going to EightyTwo are now walking around the corner to 4th Place to get to the front entrance, helping to activate the once-desolate sidewalk

EightyTwo founders Noah Sutcliffe and Scott Davids

EightyTwo founders Noah Sutcliffe and Scott Davids

The bar inside EightyTwo

The bar inside EightyTwo

DJ Drew Spin

DJ Drew Spin

Street Fighter II Champion Edition

Street Fighter II Champion Edition

Mortal Kombat II

Mortal Kombat II

"Fatality!"

“Fatality!”

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Pac-Man

Pac-Man

Fun times: multiple players

Fun times: multiple players

Future tournaments and high game scores will be featured for all to see

Future tournaments and high game scores will be featured for all to see

The arcade games lined up

The arcade games lined up

Pin ball machines

Pin ball machines

The open courtyard patio connects the two separate sides: one with arcade games and the other side with pin ball machines

The open courtyard patio connects the two separate sides: one with arcade games and the other side with pin ball machines

A live game feed is projected onto the wall above the bar area creating an interactive ambiance

A live game feed is projected onto the wall above the bar area creating an interactive ambiance

The beautiful new mural and lighting have really helped make this once desolate corner a new hot spot of activity

The beautiful new mural and lighting have really helped make this once desolate corner a new hot spot of activity

9 Responses to EightyTwo (82) Arcade Bar Brings Classic Gaming to the Arts District in Downtown LA

  1. I love this place so much. These guys did a fantastic job.

  2. ugh can’t wait to go!

  3. I loved this place a bunch! Needs to add Total Carnage and Zaxxon though. :)

  4. I MUST GO HERE.

  5. Wow! This is an amazing place with everything that a child (at heart) could only dream of: DJ spinning music; awesome bar; classic arcade games; pinball machines?

    This is like something straight out of VGHS (Video Games High School) and soon to be one of my top five new hangouts.

    =D

  6. Many of my ideas and inventions usually come to pass, problem is almost everything has been patented or I lack the funds to get it going. So, who can I talk to that will provide the funds needed next time I have a million dollar idea? Remember calculator watches, ATM cards at fast food drive-thrus, I warned the store Best they would close down if they didn’t start a credit card program, Saturn never wanted to listen to my ideas. You got money? hold it for one year, let me do some thinking and running around, then i’ll get us a money making business going.

  7. Pingback: Retro Gaming LA | To Game For Life

  8. Sounds good, must try that place :)

  9. I came for the pinball and was impressed then let down. I realized that these were Molly McQuarter’s machines. It was nice that they were actually leveled unlike at her place where I went twice and gave up with her. I was sad to see her running around treating people lame. I actually watched her shoo away two players that were putting in a lot of coin. Then she said something about how they were playing and that was the reason the machine broke. She treated the customers as if they were subjects in her fiefdom. And i laughed watching her “repair” the shadow machine with no task lighting. Her tools rolling around. No lighting. Then a small iphone flash was used. It is like watching a high functioning autistic. She managed to annoy four of our group who were playing the different machines by reaching in here of bending over between the machines, unplugging some. It was creepy. All together our group of 8 spent over 400 in there.

    Go for the video games. Avoid the pinball section. You will have to deal with the pinball trolls and the most popular machines (shadow and star trek) broke down at least twice that I noticed. I wish I could say i look forward to returning and supporting the business but with Molly it is not worth it.

    rate 2 / 5

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