Arcade bar Up-Down is expanding in Des Moines' East Village
Gamers celebrate 40 years of the Japanese arcade game "Space Invaders" at a themed exhibition in central Tokyo. Rough cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Stretch out those thumbs, gamers, because Up-Down wants to start 2019 by doubling the size of your arcade experience.
The popular basement bar that teams nostalgic arcade games with craft beer and cocktails plans to expand into the first floor above its 500 E. Locust St. location, nearly doubling the space for gamers to drink craft beer and slay zombies on House of the Dead.
Taking over the space formerly occupied by retailer Velvet Coat (now located at 219 E. Grand), owners plan to add a second bar, late-night pizza kitchen and about 30 games to the street-front level.
Construction on the room could be complete as early as the end of December, but an official relaunch may not happen until January.
Since opening its East Village doors in 2013, Up-Down has expanded to Minneapolis, Kansas City and Milwaukee. Bar owners wanted to grow the Des Moines location to mirror what’s offered in the expansion cities — 5,000 to 7,000 square-feet with a food menu and sometimes two stories — without leaving its original neighborhood.
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It’s a move three years in a making, said Up-Down co-owner Sam Summers. Construction includes adding a staircase to marry the original space with the new addition.
“We need a bigger footprint, right? But we like our location,” Summers said. “This opportunity came up where we could expand into the first floor.”
It’s undecided which of the 300-or-so games in storage Up-Down management plans to add to the new floor, but bar goers can expect additional pinball and skeeball.