For the past two Fridays, I've turned to a new form of therapy post-workweek. Located on St-Denis near Ontario St., Arcade MTL is Montreal's first true arcade and bar combo.
For the longest time, bars and videogames were not allowed to cohabit as per city bylaws so you better believe Montreal was more than ready to welcome a new kind of bar. I can tell you this much - my first time there, I showed up at 5:15pm and it was already bustling. This bar is consistently packed, however not to the extent where you're uncomfortable (in case you're completely claustrophobic like me...)
So let's get down to the key details here - there is a $5 cover fee to get in HOWEVER unlike most bar-arcades, you don't pay to play. There's a upside and downside to this but we'll discuss that in a bit...
When it comes to drinks, they've got decent beer, they've got your classic cocktails, they've even got aptly-named cocktails like the Gin-Sonic and the BatmanHattan. My drink of choice is the house beer, a blonde, the Mario Brosse which'll only set you back $6.50. The beers all range between $5-$8 while the cocktails range between $10-$15. Good start, right?
Once you've got your drink in hand, there's a good amount of seats spread out along the bar, a booth at the back, and small tables at the front amidst all the arcade machines. If you're not in the mood to park your rear, you can get right to business on a selection of 17 arcade machines (and they've even got cup holders for your drink!)
They've got a decent spread as far as games go: TMNT, Contra, Mortal Kombat, Marvel Super Heroes, Centipede, Mrs. Pac-Man, Turtles in Time, etc., etc., etc., and you can even drop your credit card at the bar and borrow a videogame cartridge to play at one of the screens + consoles setup at the front. Complete with a couch, this area totally feels like a Saturday in your best buddy's basement in 1992. It's got a pretty awesome vibe.
So back to my point about not having to pay to play - there are pros and cons depending how you look at it.
Pro: you're not spending an upwards of $20 on games because - let's face it - as "adults", we now have the "power" (aka moolah) to go a little crazier at the arcade.
Con: people may hog certain machines BUT I've found this to definitely not be the case at Arcade MTL so far, as many of the machines are coop games and people are super polite to wrap their game up within a few minutes of you lingering behind them...
Alas, this was my favorite find at Arcade MTL... Turtles in Time! I played this bad boy from start to finish and let's face it - I would not have been able to do it if I had to pay to play. Completing this game was a life first for me, so thank you Arcade MTL - you make childhood dreams come true! (this should totally be their slogan..)
Find Arcade MTL at 2031 rue St-Denis (between Ontario and Sherbrooke) and it's a short walk from either metro Sherbrooke or Berri-UQAM.
Tue-Wed: 5:00 pm - 1:00 am
Thu-Fri: 5:00 pm - 3:00 am
Sat: 12:00 pm - 3:00 am
Sun: 12:00 pm - 1:00 am