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7 Houston bars with old-school arcade games

Pinball machines at Houston bar Poison Girl.
Pinball machines at Houston bar Poison Girl. (KPRC)

HOUSTON – Wish you could go back to when arcades were a thing? For those longing for a simpler time - when Pac Man, Space Invaders and pinball ruled the gaming world - look no further. We’ve rounded up seven spots in Houston where you can enjoy the classics. Even better - now you can drink while you game. Ready, player one?

1. Joystix/Eighteen Twenty Lounge

What gamers say: “It’s just like walking into an arcade from the 80s and 90s! It’s only open to the public for arcade play on two weekends per month, but it’s absolute old school fun for a great price!” - Ray M.

Address: 1820 Franklin St, Houston, TX 77002

Website: www.joystixgames.com

2. Kung Fu Saloon

What gamers say: “This place is so amazing. Even on a regular Tuesday night I can bring a date or just a couple friends and have a good time. Even brought some clients here and it worked out well thanks to Street Fighter! Planning on doing my next corporate outing here for my team as well. Folks behind the bar continue to be amazing and nice.” - Jamie D.

Address: 5317 Washington Ave, Houston, TX 77007

Website: www.kungfusaloon.com

3. Neil’s Bahr

Arcade games at Neil's Bahr. (KPRC)

What gamers say: “This place is awesome. They have a n64 system and a super Nintendo. Along with a Nintendo switch. All free to play good times. Brought back a ton of old school memories. Drinks are fair in price. The crowd wasn’t bad." - Edward G.

Address: 2006 Walker St, Houston, TX 77003

Website: www.neilsbahr.com

4. Poison Girl

What gamers say: “My favorite dive bar in houston, always a trendy crowd, chill vibe with old school pin ball and arcades in the back and a fresh back patio. Sometimes it’s hard to reach over customers to get a drink from the bar but service is fast and the prices are totally affordable.” - Esad K.

Address: 1641 Westheimer Rd B, Houston, TX 77006

Website: www.facebook.com/Poison-Girl

5. Grand Prize Bar

What gamers say: “Cheap drinks, eclectic crowd (read: hipsters), upstairs bar and patio, old fashioned juke box, old hunting arcade game, pool table, and......PACMAN! Just a great little dive bar.” - George L.

Address: 1010 Banks St Houston, TX 77006

Website: www.facebook.com/Grand-Prize-Bar

6. The Dive

What gamers say: “This place is a great time. The venue has free to play arcade games, a good layout for a dance floor & bar, and a back alley that is great for socializing and meeting new people. Every time I come here I’m blown away by how cool the people are - maybe it’s the artists they invite, idk. Bottom line is, if you’re looking for some place to dance, have some good conversation, and a good time, this is a good place to be.” - Bryan L.

Address: 809 Pierce St, Houston, TX 77002

Website: www.facebook.com/TheDiveHTX

7. Brash Brewing Co.

What gamers say: “One of the best breweries in Houston! They have a large selection of arcade games, metal records on the jukebox, & tasty beer. If you like IPAs, stouts, metal, & arcade games this is definitely the place to be. Dog friendly, the staff is great & they host all sorts of benefits to help out animals & people in the local community.” - Ashley B.

Address: 508 W Crosstimbers Rd, Houston, TX 77018

Website: www.facebook.com/alesatanhouston


About the Author:

Olivia Kolanek is the Features Producer of KPRC 2's Houston Life. She joined the KPRC family in the summer of 2019 after working in non-profit communications for three years. She is passionate about creating content that features good people, good food or a good story. Olivia is a University of Houston alumna, Audible junkie and scuba novice.