OK look, I haven’t been to any of these places in over a year because of obvious reasons. But here’s what I think of the various arcades in greater Portland, Oregon that sell beer. Hopefully this situation will change and the links will be updated overtime.
Ground Kontrol is the big one in China Town/Old Town near the west side of the Burnside Bridge. This is the “boring” answer but like… it’s great fun. I went here for a portion of my bachelor party over a decade ago and I still go here about every year or so because it’s fun. They have live music, cheap beer, beers on taps, and snacks. They have a ton of great pinball games and I went there once and played Capcom vs. SNK 2 and lost all night. It was fantastic.
Oh, and as the resident in-game bathroom expert on this forum (I should really really really rethink my personal brand) the bathrooms at Ground Kontrol lead off this listicle of the 13 best bathrooms in Portland.
Quarter World is another of the big popular ones and… I think they may have gone out of business from COVID. Their Facebook page is a year old and their domain seems to be expired, so I’m not sure. I’ve been there several times over the years for meet ups when the the Portland Retro Gaming Expo is in town. Their games seem to be a mix of older less fun ones (I don’t want to play Bad Dudes) and newer ones like the Star Wars Battle Pod which has a very immersive wrap-around cockpit and I love to death.
Apex is more of a beer bar in that it doesn’t serve food (that I remember). They do have a cool agreement with the Mexican place they share a building and outdoor seating area with. The Mexican place will ask if you are over at Apex and they’ll bring the delicious food to you. As far as games go, they mostly have pinball and they mostly have newer ones. It’s been the only time I’ve seen Jersey Jack pinball machines (they had Wizard of Oz several years ago) in the wild.
I’ve been past the Next Level Pinball Museum a few times and stopped to check it out, but that was right before COVID and I didn’t want to pay the $20 cover at lunch time to just walk around. All their games are set to free play though so if you’re going to be there for a while, I suspect it’s a good value. Their space is huge and I’m excited to go back assuming they survive the pandemic. Dunno what their food situation was/is.
I’ve only been to Wedgehead once in February 2020 right before COVID lockdown. They have food, (vegan options too), lots of beer and a full bar, and lots of pinball games. I got irrationally excited to play Total Nuclear Annihilation and got into a minor argument with one of my best friends about if pinball is/is not all the same table-to-table and the theming is just pictures. He’s wrong, but he hasn’t joined the IC forums to refute me publicly.