Bringing its unique brand of fun, food and drink to the Gaslamp is the latest location of Coin-Op Game Room. The arcade bar and eatery, which first launched in North Park back in 2013, has since expanded to San Francisco and Sacramento. Its new 7,180-square-foot Sixth Avenue spot is significantly larger than its original 30th Street space, and filled with more than 50 games - retro classics including Pacman, Donkey Kong, and Mortal Kombat, plus pinball machines, Skee Ball lanes and more; gaming even extends to the communal tables, which are inset with multi-game screens.
Further upping the nostalgia factor is a glassed-in room behind the bar, decked out quite majestically like the ultimate bedroom of a 1980s teen; you may even see a familiar face seated on a bean bag, taking a turn on the game controller.
There are 16 craft beer taps, but the focus here will likely be a bustling cocktail business thanks to a highly-drinkable menu, which will be refreshed every two months, from esteemed local bartender Michele Willard (Urbn, Bracero, Craft & Commerce) which combines of-the-moment alcohols including rhum agricole, mezcal and sherry with accessible flavors like watermelon, coconut and kiwi. Corporate chef Mark Bolton says the food menu is a “greatest hits” from all Coin-Op locations, from the pizza featured at its Northern California outposts to the signature burger that’s a favorite in North Park. There are also shareable bar bites, sandwiches and handmade doughnuts.
Operating Monday to Friday from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. and Saturday from noon to 2 a.m., with the kitchen open until 1 a.m. every day, the Gaslamp Coin-Op also offers a can’t-miss happy hour on weekdays from 4 to 7 p.m. which features $2 off all draft beers, $6 select cocktails, $25 punch bowls and lots of food specials.