Chances are, you’ve probably been to a dive bar with one lonesome pinball machine, but some of Chicago’s most exciting bars are home to entire arcades. After popping up in neighborhoods such as Wicker Park and Logan Square, arcade bars are now a citywide phenomenon. So start gathering your loose change because The Phoenix found the best bars to play arcade games at while drinking in Chicago.
AceBounce (230 N. Clark St.)
Ping-pong and partying go better together than you would’ve ever thought. Located on prime real estate adjacent to the Chicago River downtown, you’ll find AceBounce, Chicago’s ping-pong themed bar and restaurant. AceBounce’s Chicago bar is the first location outside of England, and the spacious venue is perfect for birthdays or group events. The interior is modern and trendy, especially with the neon paint on the walls and backlights. AceBounce boasts 16 ping-pong tables and a sectioned-off area just for glow-in-the-dark matches.
The restaurant and bar has solid cocktails, and upscale but accessible food which include dishes such as a tender porcini crusted skirt steak accompanied by sweet and sour brussel sprouts, beef short rib and mushroom ragu over pappardelle packed with flavor, and the mouthwatering fried mushrooms with tarragon aioli for dipping. While serious ping-pong players are welcome, AceBounce encourages guests with no skill to give it a try. If you do plan to go here, make sure to book a table in advance because the wait can get pretty lengthy during weekends and evenings. Open Monday-Thursday. 4 p.m-12 a.m., Friday-Saturday. 12 p.m.-1 a.m. and closed on Sunday.