Grown-ups game at Up-Down Bar

The new arcade offers more than 60 craft beers to pair with classic games.

Jenn Truchon-Kelzenber of Blaine plays a Family Guy themed pinball machine at the Up Down bar in Uptown Minneapolis on Sunday evening.

Zach Bielinski

Jenn Truchon-Kelzenber of Blaine plays a Family Guy themed pinball machine at the Up Down bar in Uptown Minneapolis on Sunday evening.

Joe Cristo

This summer, a new beer arcade — Up-Down Arcade Bar — opened in southwest Minneapolis.

More than 60 craft beers are served at Up-Down, along with pizza by the slice. All of their fare is available smack-dab in the middle of dozens of arcade games — Skee-Ball, a Nintendo 64 on a big-screen, pinball and giant versions of Connect Four and Jenga. 

It’s like an adult version of Chuck E. Cheese’s, except at Up-Down you won’t be subjected to disdainful glares.

The idea is undeniably cool. However, the issue with such an establishment is trying to discern what type of people it attracts. In the case of Up-Down, there’s a blend of late-twenty-year-olds, post-work yuppies, squealing, tank-topped bros and punk-rock elders reliving their rebel youth.

The games at Up-Down are priced at 25 cents, pizza ranges from $4 to $5 depending on the kind, and the beer costs exactly what you’d expect from an entertainment complex that sells booze.

When I went, I ordered a slice of the veggie pizza and a slice of the supreme. Both were flush with toppings, and the taste was fine. The slices are big and gooey — due to uncooked dough — but they were so big that one would do just fine to satisfy your appetite. It’s clear that quantity trumps quality at Up-Down.

In addition, I ordered a pineapple cider and Blue Moon Belgian-style wheat ale. Admittedly, I don’t see the point in over-priced alcohol, but both were tasty enough.

As for the games, they have just about everything — all the classics: Mortal Kombat, Tempest, Centipede, Donkey Kong, Ms. Pac-Man. The procedure is pretty straightforward: Lines quickly reach maximum capacity, patrons use one token per play and no one stays on the games very long. 

The giant-sized versions of Jenga and Connect Four breathe some respectable life back into games often viewed as overly tread and hackneyed. The inclusion of Skee-Ball is essential, as it’s a childhood favorite. 

Overall, there’s a lack of places to sit, and operation is over-crowded with throngs of people, but the Up-Down management ensures order well enough.

Maybe this is what arcades and family entertainment centers were always like — filled to the brim with hapless folks who eat overpriced food and drink. 

But something about this set-up — how cheap the games are and the selection of beers —scratches an itch that can’t be scratched anywhere else.