On 56 Orange St., a man walks into a bar. It is also an arcade.
Barcade, part bar and part arcade, is coming to the Ninth Square in New Haven. The owners — Paul Kermizian, Scott Beard, Kevin Beard and Pete Langway — opened their first Barcade in Brooklyn in 2004 and have secured five locations since. Like its counterparts, the New Haven location will feature classic arcade games and serve craft beer. New Haven’s Barcade proposal has been discussed since July 2015 and was approved by the Board of Zoning Appeals this September. Barcade was originally set to open this fall but after being delayed by zoning issues is set to open early next year, Kermizian said.
“We wanted to expand into New England, and we had been thinking about where to look,” said Kermizian. “We really liked the downtown area here.”
Kermizian –— who recently celebrated 10 years of success since the first Barcade opened its doors — does not expect to see strong competition. He noted there are no other similar venues in Connecticut. Although Barcade will specialize in craft beers, it will also have a full liquor bar for cocktails, Kermizian said. He added that there will be 50 types of video games available, including many hits from the last 40 years, such as Pac-Man, Donkey Kong and Street Fighter.
The owners said they hope to find a niche for their bar in the downtown area.
“There seems to be a cool nightlife already in downtown New Haven,” said Kermizian. “We don’t see other people as competition. We just hope to fit in somewhere.”
Barcade will join the ranks of at least four other bars in the Ninth Square.
Neighboring bars include Firehouse 12, Crown 116 and Cask Republic. Though Cask Republic also specializes in craft beers, its business manager, Norman Macdonald, said he does not see Barcade as competition and is excited for its arrival.
“Our entire staff is super into craft beer,” Macdonald said. “A lot of our staff is into video games as well. Some of them even go down to the [Barcade] in Brooklyn.”
Students who had heard about the upcoming arrival of Barcade expressed excitement about the new addition to Orange Street.
Lyndon Ji ’16, a competitor in Super Smash Brothers tournaments, said he is looking forward to playing and drinking with friends at Barcade. Juan Pablo Ponce De Leon ’16 said that Barcade will be a unique place for students to hang out as well as an interesting location to bring dates.
“I’m not a ‘going out to drinks’ kind of guy,” said Thomas Aviles ’16. “However, the idea of having an arcade coupled with a Saturday-night vibe is a cool idea in itself.”
Kermizian said his love of video games inspired him to open the first Barcade with his college friends. When the Brooklyn business became successful, the owners left their day jobs to pursue the expansion of their new business, he added.
Each video game will cost 25 or 50 cents and will function with tokens.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Jon Miller was one of the owners of the original Barcade built in 2004.