Arcade bars have been steadily growing in popularity over the past few years, and now, St. Louis is getting in on the game.
Start Bar is slated to open Downtown at 1000 Spruce Street this summer.
The new arcade bar comes from Consips restaurateurs Stephen Savage, Jared Ater, Nick Del Gaiso and Lou Groff, who also own Wheelhouse Downtown. They plan to open Start Bar in the space adjacent to the popular sports bar. "There’s definitely a void of a true arcade bar," Savage tells Feast. "They are very popular throughout the United States, [and] Downtown has so much going on right now."
The group has been working with local branding and marketing firm Atomicdust (whose recent projects include Revel Kitchen and Porano Pasta) to establish the look and feel of the new concept. "Atomicdust came up with a very unique concept," Savage says. "It’s a lot more sophisticated than just being a playground, per se. It’s got a lot more substance to it than just randomly putting cartoon figures around the venue.”
The 5,000-square-foot space will house some of the best old-school arcade cabinets, along with pinball and Skee-Ball. "It’s mostly retro, and some of the newer ones we have will be NBA Jam, Ninja Turtles and Mortal Kombat," Savage says. "We have a 1,000-square-foot mezzanine that will have console games like N64 with Goldeneye and Mario Kart."
Start Bar will offer a lot more than just games, though: the arcade bar plans to offer a serious food and drink menu. The bar program will consist of around 30 to 40 local and national craft brews along with cocktails, sodas, boozy milkshakes and snow cones. Diners can also nosh on from-scratch pizza and other snacks.
The space will blend past and present by mixing high art, 90s pop culture, hip hop and colorful arcade cabinets in addition to a creative use of space to eat, drink, relax and play. Construction on the space is ongoing, but Start Bar plans to open in June.
Start Bar, 1000 Spruce St., Downtown, St. Louis, Missouri, facebook.com/Startbarstl