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, 2019-10-23 04:56:15
A Gulch building that once housed Gibson Guitar has been completely transformed into a gaming mecca with three separate bars.
Michael Fant, Nashville Tennessean
A Gulch building that once housed Gibson Guitar has been completely transformed into a gaming mecca complete with old-school arcade games, pinball machines, duckpin bowling and three separate bars.
16-Bit Bar + Arcade and Pins Mechanical Co. are preparing to open soon in a shared 30,000-square-foot building at 1102 Grundy St. It’s the first expansion into Tennessee for Columbus-based brand strategy firm Rise Brands, the parent company of 16-Bit and Pins Mechanical Co., which operates in seven U.S. cities.
“This was a long time in the making,” said Rise Brands CEO Troy Allen. “We’ve been working on this project for about two years. …Nashville, for us, just from a growth standpoint and everything that’s happening here, we always want to be a part of it, so we’re thrilled to be here.”
The arcade and bowling alley bring new life to a fast-developing but still somewhat industrial part of the Gulch near Maneet Chauhan’s restaurants. Gibson sold the Grundy Street warehouse building in 2017 to a private equity firm. Rise Brands then overhauled the site with murals, an outdoor patio, garage doors that open to the sidewalk and skylights to bring natural light into the building.
“We like old buildings that we can bring back to life,” Allen said. “When I first saw this one about two and a half years ago, we knew right away.”
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16-Bit features classic video games, retro-themed cocktails
16-Bit Bar + Arcade and Pins Mechanical Co. are two different concepts under the Rise Brands umbrella, but in Nashville, the two concepts flow together in the same building so that people can wander from one to the other.
On the 16-Bit side, you can expect a retro watering hole offering classic arcade games and a lot of nostalgia. Everything from the movies playing on TV to the arcade games and the names of the cocktails are throwbacks to the ’80s and ’90s.
The more than 30 old-school arcade games include Asteroids, Donkey Kong, Pac-Man and Space Invaders. A video game lounge area features Nintendo and Sega with a host of game options and soft leather chairs. All the arcade games are free with the purchase of a drink (alcoholic or non-alcoholic).
“It’s everything you had growing up as a kid. We just say this time there’s a little more alcohol, or alcohol period,” Allen said.
The $8 cocktails are named after popular ’80s and ’90s stars and characters, including Kevin Bacon, Patrick Swayze, “The Dude,” Carrie Fisher and Pam Anderson. The bar’s most popular cocktail, the Hulk Hogan, features blueberry vodka, lemonade and a Bomb Pop popsicle. There are also 24 beers on tap, mocktails, slushies and juices.
Duckpin bowling, bocce and more at Pins Mechanical
At Pins Mechanical Co., people can play more than 20 pinball machines (50 cents per game), 16 lanes of duckpin bowling ($5 per game per person), bocce ($6 per half hour/$10 per hour), giant Connect Four (free), giant Jenga (free), foosball (50 cents per game) and ping pong ($6 per half hour/$10 per hour).
The duckpin bowling features shorter lanes, smaller balls with no finger holes and short bowling pins. No bowling shoes are required, and people of any age are welcome to play.
All games operate on a first-come, first-served basis. People can check in upon arrival to sign up for bowling lanes and other activities, and they’ll be notified via text when those are ready.
The Pins Mechanical beverage menu features $8 craft cocktails, including a maple-nut old fashioned and pomegranate mule; a pitcher of punch for $32 that can serve four to six people; wine; craft beer; and mocktails.
To create an open-air patio, Rise Brands had a portion of the building’s roof removed and installed an outdoor bar with 24 beer taps, three fire pits and patio pong (giant beer pong).
16-Bit and Pins Mechanical don’t offer food menus, but food trucks can pull onto the patio to serve food and guests can bring in their own food. Both concepts offer a variety of private event spaces and the venues are family-friendly until 8 p.m.
16-Bit and Pins Mechanical will be open 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Wednesday; 4 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday; 12 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. on Saturday; and 12 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Sunday.
Rise Brands is one of several companies bringing old-school arcades to Nashville.
Iowa-based arcade bar Up-Down plans to open on Woodland Street later this year with more than 50 arcade games from the ’80s and ’90s, pinball machines, skee-ball alleys, Nintendo 64 consoles, giant Jenga and Connect Four.
Meanwhile, in South Nashville, the Game Terminal Super Arcade and Bar slated to open later this year at 201 Terminal Court will feature five decades worth of arcade games and pinball machines, basketball courts, craft cocktails and upscale bar food.
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