up-down bar stl features nearly 100 arcade games including pinball, skee ball and more/ photo by lauren healey

First Look: Up-Down Bar in the Central West End

Get ready for waves of nostalgia when Up-Down STL opens this evening, June 14, at 405 N. Euclid Ave. in the Central West End. The ’80s and ’90s-themed arcade bar is the fifth location of Up-Down, which first opened about five years ago in Des Moines.

“People who loved going to arcades when they were growing up still want somewhere to go have fun and feel nostalgic, but now they've grown up, and they want a craft beer with it,” said general manager Joey Akers, who managed the Kansas City location the last four years. “County people and city people all love the Central West End, and we love how walk-able it is here. We felt this was the best area for our demographic.”

The 7,500-square-foot space, formerly the home of recognizable eateries like Herbie’s and Balaban’s, is decked out in era-appropriate memorabilia with WWE wrestling and familiar movies like “Space Jam” and “Gremlins” playing on TVs scattered throughout.

“The building has a neat history and great bones,” Akers said. “People who came here before will recognize it to some degree, but quite a bit has changed.”

The game selection runs the gamut with nearly 100 options, from “Dance Dance Revolution,” “Pac-Man” and racing games to pinball and skee ball. Most games cost one token (equivalent to a quarter); however, console games and yard games (giant Jenga, Connect Four and more) are free.

The upper level boasts a large bar with 60 taps, half of which feature local brews, including 2nd Shift Brewing, Brick River Cider, Rockwell Beer Co. and many more. The patio, which has a smaller bar with 30 taps, offers a relatively peaceful sanctuary for those needing a break from the excitement inside. The third and final bar in the basement houses four unique taps that aren’t available elsewhere in the building, including Goose Island Bourbon Co. and 4 Hands Brewing Co. Gateman. There will also be a rotating cocktail list.

Scratch-made pizza by the slice will be on offer from a food window with typical rotating offerings like pepperoni and cheese, along with more off-the-wall options like macaroni and cheese. In a few weeks, a few salads and sandwiches will also be on offer.

Only those 21 and older are allowed in, but Akers said the owners are considering allowing all ages one Sunday per month.

Although there are roughly 60 seats throughout the bar, Akers said you won’t need them. “It’s such a social thing,” Akers said. “You don’t really need a seat because people are going to be wandering and moving around and enjoying the space.”

Up-Down STL will be open from 3 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Here’s a First Look at St. Louis’ newest arcade bar.

Lauren Healey is associate editor at Sauce Magazine.