With the recent release of Stranger Things 3, the retro 80s vibes have definitely taken over. Perhaps some of the most notable icons from the era are arcade games; they’re super fun, original and they take you back in time. Unfortunately, they are pretty hard to come by nowadays, so the opportunity to hop on one of these bad boys for a game of Pac-Man or Galaga is rare and exciting. Fortunately for Atlanta dwellers and visitors alike, this Atlanta arcade lets you play games and drink booze.
Located in Atlanta's trendy Edgewood, Joystick Gamebar definitely stands out with its bright graffiti walls. That alone will draw a crowd, but it's what's on the inside that really counts (aww). You will travel back in time when you walk into the dark ambience complemented by neon lights radiating from the classic old school games. The bar opened in August 2012 and will be celebrating its seven-year anniversary this month.
Joystick offers over 20 classic games including Galaga, Metal Slug, Ms. Pac-Man, Centipede, Donkey Kong and you can play each for 25 cents. They've also thrown in some pinball machines and board games to the mix, so you can bring your pre-gaming here. Joystick really is all fun and games; their also extremely crafty cocktails make it even groovier.
The folks at Joystick create their own drinks in hopes that you won't find them anywhere else. They even name some of them after the bartenders who create them.
For perspective, "Chris' Spicy Boi" is made with Rittenhouse Rye, honey, ginger, Zirbenz Alpine, lemon and bitters. They have tons of unique beers and boozy slushies including "Bourbon Coffee" and "Watermelon Smash."
The fun doesn't stop at games and drinks; Joystick hosts super cool events like karaoke and Magic Night. This bar is probably one of most eccentric bars in Atlanta, but there's a cause behind all the weird fun. On the first Saturday of every month, Joystick hosts Saturday Morning Cartoons, where you can enjoy mimosas, Bloody Marys and get in your feels with classic nostalgic toons. A portion of the proceeds are donated to Our House, a local non-profit that supports homeless families and aims to combat homelessness.
Joystick is open late, so you can party and play into the night. They are open until 2:30 a.m. everyday except Sunday, when they close at midnight. They also serve a variety of asian-inspired chow including teriyaki tacos, bulgogi bowls and potstickers, so you won't go hungry. If you are all about unique gaming experiences, you have to check out this Atlanta Pokemon pop-up coming this fall.
Price: $0.25 - $15
Address: 427 Edgewood Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30312
Why you should go: Take a local trip back to the 80s and play classic arcade games with awesome beer and craft cocktails in hand.