An arcade bar full of game-themed cocktails and jumbo pretzels will open in Downtown Crossing this week

Versus will debut on Thursday with drinks like the 8 Bit Old Fashioned and the Galactica Double IPA.

Versus arcade bar opens on Thursday.
Versus arcade bar opens on Thursday. –Big Night Entertainment Group

Long gone are the days when arcades were simply crumby corners of the mall where blinking video games were the sole focus. Now they have drinks, food, and lounges in which to regroup after each round, and a quarter doesn’t get you nearly as far. The arcade bar trend is going strong, and this week, Boston has another newcomer to prove it: Versus, which will open in Downtown Crossing on Thursday.

Located in the former Gem space at 42 Province St., Versus is a member of the Big Night Entertainment Group, the company behind concepts such as Scorpion Bar, The Grand, Empire Asian Restaurant and Lounge, and Red Lantern Restaurant and Lounge.


The new arcade will feature pop art murals by local artist Dirty DEK, LED TVs, and a mix of both old and new games like Frogger, Mortal Kombat, Centipede, and Madden 19. (Non-arcade games like Jenga, Dynamo Air Hockey, and Shuffleboard also will be available.) Boston magazine reports that gamers can snack on comfort food bites — cheese steak spring rolls, “Flamin’ Hot” onion rings, jumbo pretzels — along with more substantial dishes like pizza, sandwiches, and burgers.

The arcade bar also will offer game-themed cocktails ranging from an 8 Bit Old Fashioned and a Hendrick’s High Score to a Sharp Shooter Sidebar. (We see what you did there, Versus.) Cocktails will be served in single-player format ($14) and multi-player format ($65), and wine and beer options will have names that embody a space-age theme: Galactica Double IPA ($7) and Space Cake Double IPA ($8).

Versus will open to the public at noon on Thursday.

Versus, 42 Province St.; Mondays–Thursday from 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Fridays from 11 a.m.–1 a.m., Saturdays from 5 p.m.–1 a.m., and Sundays from noon–8 p.m.;


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