I don’t get out of the house that much, but when I do I like to support local businesses, have fun and often try something new. When I get to do any or all of the above, I want to share that with you. So begins this occasional series, Fayetteville Field Trips, which I hope you will enjoy. Have a suggestion for a field trip I should take? Let me know!
I was never very good as a reporter, but one thing I did like about the job was the times I was able to share someone else’s passion with readers. I loved learning about what excited other people and having a little of that enthusiasm rub off on me as I told their story.
Get ready to get excited about arcade games.
In the interest of “hey, it really is a small town” full disclosure, this story is about Shea, who has known my brother just about forever and my husband nearly as long. I may be misremembering, but I think he and my brother were on the same peewee soccer team (what was their name? The A Team, of course!) and he and my husband used to game together in college.
Anyway, Shea, it turns out, is awesomely passionate about old video games. So much so that he’s opened up a vintage arcade, Arkadia Retrocade, in Evelyn Hills in Fayetteville. It’s your basic storefront with a ton of old arcade games lining the walls.
There’s Pac-man, Ms. Pac-man, Donkey Kong, Asteroids, Gauntlet, Mario, Galaga, Dig Dug, a tabletop version of Frogger…I know I’m leaving a ton out and there are currently more than 50 games available, with more in a state of repair, and they’re always on the lookout for more.
There’s also an air hockey table (oh, yes!), an old TV set up with an Atari and a party room with board games.
Husband and I went there the other night — when they’d been open less than a week — to celebrate my book being done. Shea was happy to see us because he knew us, but I think he was thrilled to see everyone who was there that night. Not just because they were bringing him money, but because he got to share this thing he made.
And it is an awesome thing.
I’ve never been that into video games, and whatever skill I ever had clearly left my body during the Clinton Administration, but it was still a lot of fun.
It’s very bare bones, just games and a snack bar. You pay five bucks and can play all you want. Candy, chips and sodas are available at the snack bar, and word is there will be coffee, too, which is what I really wanted.
I’m excited that we have such a place in Fayetteville, and I’m excited that an old friend gets to bring it to you. If you’re into games, or having fun with friends, or a cheap date night, you absolutely should check it out. I liked this place so much I had a dream I crocheted them a Space Invaders wall hanging. Now that would belong on the Wall of Awesome, for sure.
Right now Arkadia is open daily, from 2:30 to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, noon to midnight on Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday, but I think the plan is to only be open Wednesday through Sunday at some point. Even passion projects need a break form time to time.