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Punch Bowl Social
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

13 Game-Filled Bars Around D.C.

Where to find Skee-ball, arcade classics, and board games

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Punch Bowl Social
| Rey Lopez/Eater DC

More and more bars over town are incorporating games — be they video, board, or axe-related. Because what’s better than combining good friends, stiff drinks, and some recreational activities?

Here’s a list of where to brush up on old-school classics like Monopoly, step into a life-sized version of Pac-Man, or hurl hatchets down range. And Red Bear Brewing Company is gearing up to unveil its massive 7,000-square-foot tap room and brewery in Northeast, complete with over 100 board games.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Jackie Lee's

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This Brightwood Park spot owned by a former Red Derby bartender invites customers to revisit their youth with a vintage Nintendo Entertainment System that greets visitors almost as soon as they walk in. The staff claims to have over 180 different games at the ready (good luck remembering all the cheat codes).

The original Nintendo Entertainment System at the end of Jackie Lee’s bar is first come, first served.
Photo by Rey Lopez for Eater DC

Halfsmoke

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Halfsmoke has Jenga, Monopoly, Battleship, Cards Against Humanity, Scrabble, Trouble, and more. Modern-day technology isn’t completely absent — there’s a photo booth to capture drunk shots.

Jenga is just one of the ways to kill time at Halfsmoke.
Photo: Halfsmoke

VR Arcade at Flash

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The Shaw club hosts augmented reality-enabled experiences on its first floor. Gaming technologies explore arts, music, sports and more. VR headsets can be reserved in advance. The simulated party typically gets started at 2 p.m. until the DJ takes over (Wednesday to Sunday), but check the schedule in advance.

VR Arcade at Flash.
VR Arcade/official photo

Players Club

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This underground bar has diversions galore, including classic video games, pool tables, pinball machines, and a claw machine filled with sex toys. Cocktails and beers are taken care of in-house; food orders are filled by its upstairs neighbor, Shake Shack.

The bar at Players Club.
Mykl Wu/Players Club

The Eleanor

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This highly anticipated NoMa entertainment hub has mini-bowling lanes, multiplayer video games including a giant Pac-Man Battle Royal, pinball machines, and more. Sip regional brews and slushies in between frames, or refuel with a lobster roll sandwich.

Pinball machines are just part of the gaming action at the Eleanor.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Pizzeria Paradiso Game Room

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The homegrown pizza chain replaced its subterranean beer bar in Georgetown with a game room that boasts Skee-Ball, pinball, and arcade games. Birreria regulars can reflect on the good old days while sipping from a selection of 50 canned beers ($5 to $14).

Patrons playing Skee-Ball at Pizzeria Paradiso Game Room.
Juliana Molina/Pizzeria Paradiso

Bar Elena

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There are six games parked in the back of the reinvented Boundary Road bar, including Skee-Ball, pinball, and vintage video games. Bar Elena founder Adam Stein is able to switch them out at will thanks to the connections he’s made while developing the Eleanor, NoMa’s huge gaming complex with actual bowling lanes.

Bar Elena’s rotating selection of pinball machines and video games is in the back.
Photo by Rey Lopez for Eater DC

SPIN Washington DC

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The first D.C. club from the New York-based chain started serving food, drinks, and flying orange balls in December. The downtown location of the business features a horseshoe-shaped bar overlooking 12 ping-pong tables. It hosts competitive Friday night play, social league Mondays, and Thursday pick up-and-play with instruction from Spin pros. 

Kraken Axes

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New year, new location. The former Park View outfit recently relocated to capitalize on the Canadian pastime that’s all the rage stateside, allowing curiosity seekers to toss axes at wooden targets. If you make a reservation, remember to wear closed-toe shoes.

Kraken Axes
Photo: Kraken Axes

G.O.A.T.

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This Arlington sports bar features a wall-sized Pac-Man machine, pop-a-shot, Skee-ball, and table hockey. Arcade games include NFL Blitz 2000, Key Master, Narc, and Frogger,

A wall-sized Pac-man game at Arlington sports bar G.O.A.T.
Photo: G.O.A.T.

Board Room (Multiple locations)

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In addition to carrying many of the board games and trivia challenges featured at the flagship Board Room in D.C. — including family-friendly favorites such as Pictionary, Operation, and Yahtzee — the new Arlington outpost has a companion Champagne lounge, Ms. Peacock’s.

Children’s games and booze play nicely together at the Board Room.
Photo: Board Room

Punch Bowl Social Arlington

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Along with multiple bowling lanes, guests at this new three-story funhouse can take advantage of vintage video games, shuffleboard, ping pong, darts, private karaoke rooms, an outdoor bocce court, and Skee-ball.

Carpool

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The long-standing Arlington watering hole has relocated to a spacious spot in Fairfax. You can find pool, shuffleboard, darts, arcade games, and Skee-Ball. Its weekday happy hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. slashes appetizer prices by $3, and rail drinks are $3.50. And select microbrews are $5 all night.

Pool tables and Skee-Ball at the new Carpool in Fair Lakes.
Photo: Carpool

Jackie Lee's

The original Nintendo Entertainment System at the end of Jackie Lee’s bar is first come, first served.
Photo by Rey Lopez for Eater DC

This Brightwood Park spot owned by a former Red Derby bartender invites customers to revisit their youth with a vintage Nintendo Entertainment System that greets visitors almost as soon as they walk in. The staff claims to have over 180 different games at the ready (good luck remembering all the cheat codes).

The original Nintendo Entertainment System at the end of Jackie Lee’s bar is first come, first served.
Photo by Rey Lopez for Eater DC

Halfsmoke

Jenga is just one of the ways to kill time at Halfsmoke.
Photo: Halfsmoke

Halfsmoke has Jenga, Monopoly, Battleship, Cards Against Humanity, Scrabble, Trouble, and more. Modern-day technology isn’t completely absent — there’s a photo booth to capture drunk shots.

Jenga is just one of the ways to kill time at Halfsmoke.
Photo: Halfsmoke

VR Arcade at Flash

VR Arcade at Flash.
VR Arcade/official photo

The Shaw club hosts augmented reality-enabled experiences on its first floor. Gaming technologies explore arts, music, sports and more. VR headsets can be reserved in advance. The simulated party typically gets started at 2 p.m. until the DJ takes over (Wednesday to Sunday), but check the schedule in advance.

VR Arcade at Flash.
VR Arcade/official photo

Players Club

The bar at Players Club.
Mykl Wu/Players Club

This underground bar has diversions galore, including classic video games, pool tables, pinball machines, and a claw machine filled with sex toys. Cocktails and beers are taken care of in-house; food orders are filled by its upstairs neighbor, Shake Shack.

The bar at Players Club.
Mykl Wu/Players Club

The Eleanor

Pinball machines are just part of the gaming action at the Eleanor.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

This highly anticipated NoMa entertainment hub has mini-bowling lanes, multiplayer video games including a giant Pac-Man Battle Royal, pinball machines, and more. Sip regional brews and slushies in between frames, or refuel with a lobster roll sandwich.

Pinball machines are just part of the gaming action at the Eleanor.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Pizzeria Paradiso Game Room

Patrons playing Skee-Ball at Pizzeria Paradiso Game Room.
Juliana Molina/Pizzeria Paradiso

The homegrown pizza chain replaced its subterranean beer bar in Georgetown with a game room that boasts Skee-Ball, pinball, and arcade games. Birreria regulars can reflect on the good old days while sipping from a selection of 50 canned beers ($5 to $14).

Patrons playing Skee-Ball at Pizzeria Paradiso Game Room.
Juliana Molina/Pizzeria Paradiso

Bar Elena

Bar Elena’s rotating selection of pinball machines and video games is in the back.
Photo by Rey Lopez for Eater DC

There are six games parked in the back of the reinvented Boundary Road bar, including Skee-Ball, pinball, and vintage video games. Bar Elena founder Adam Stein is able to switch them out at will thanks to the connections he’s made while developing the Eleanor, NoMa’s huge gaming complex with actual bowling lanes.

Bar Elena’s rotating selection of pinball machines and video games is in the back.
Photo by Rey Lopez for Eater DC

SPIN Washington DC

The first D.C. club from the New York-based chain started serving food, drinks, and flying orange balls in December. The downtown location of the business features a horseshoe-shaped bar overlooking 12 ping-pong tables. It hosts competitive Friday night play, social league Mondays, and Thursday pick up-and-play with instruction from Spin pros. 

Kraken Axes

Kraken Axes
Photo: Kraken Axes

New year, new location. The former Park View outfit recently relocated to capitalize on the Canadian pastime that’s all the rage stateside, allowing curiosity seekers to toss axes at wooden targets. If you make a reservation, remember to wear closed-toe shoes.

Kraken Axes
Photo: Kraken Axes

G.O.A.T.

A wall-sized Pac-man game at Arlington sports bar G.O.A.T.
Photo: G.O.A.T.

This Arlington sports bar features a wall-sized Pac-Man machine, pop-a-shot, Skee-ball, and table hockey. Arcade games include NFL Blitz 2000, Key Master, Narc, and Frogger,

A wall-sized Pac-man game at Arlington sports bar G.O.A.T.
Photo: G.O.A.T.

Board Room (Multiple locations)

Children’s games and booze play nicely together at the Board Room.
Photo: Board Room

In addition to carrying many of the board games and trivia challenges featured at the flagship Board Room in D.C. — including family-friendly favorites such as Pictionary, Operation, and Yahtzee — the new Arlington outpost has a companion Champagne lounge, Ms. Peacock’s.

Children’s games and booze play nicely together at the Board Room.
Photo: Board Room

Punch Bowl Social Arlington

Along with multiple bowling lanes, guests at this new three-story funhouse can take advantage of vintage video games, shuffleboard, ping pong, darts, private karaoke rooms, an outdoor bocce court, and Skee-ball.

Carpool

Pool tables and Skee-Ball at the new Carpool in Fair Lakes.
Photo: Carpool

The long-standing Arlington watering hole has relocated to a spacious spot in Fairfax. You can find pool, shuffleboard, darts, arcade games, and Skee-Ball. Its weekday happy hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. slashes appetizer prices by $3, and rail drinks are $3.50. And select microbrews are $5 all night.

Pool tables and Skee-Ball at the new Carpool in Fair Lakes.
Photo: Carpool

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