Boxcar Bar + Arcade, Raleigh NC

And here you thought arcades were a thing of the past.

The Boxcar is precisely what the arcades of your youth were not.  Those machines were filthy, nasty, and poorly maintained; these are pristine and beautiful.  The crowd back then was smelly pimpled kids sucking Jolt Cola; now, they’re well-groomed urban professionals mixed with college students, and the beverage of choice is craft beer on tap.  And let me tell you, the beer is damned good — too good, in fact; it’ll affect your game if you’re not careful.

Speaking of games, let me tell you about the games.  Not only do they have a couple dozen of the old classics, from an original Pac Man through Frogger and Galaga right on up to the most recent, they’ve also got skee-ball and some of the best pinball games ever made.  Addams Family, Medieval, Wizard Of Oz, Game Of Thrones, and The Hobbit — all lovely, and in perfect working order.  You’ve never seen ’em this good.

Plus they host tournaments.  Regular free tournaments, pickup pinball stuff, you name it.  If you want competition, this is the place.

When you come, plan to spend some money, but don’t bring your quarter jar.  These machines take tokens, which you can purchase by cash or credit card.

Make no mistake:  This is a destination well worth the trip.  It’s $50 by Amtrak from D.C., and the train will drop you right across the street at about 5pm.  Right next door is the justly famous barbecue joint The Pit (excellent, but not quite good enough to rate a review here), but they encourage you to get food delivered if that’s to your taste.

We love this place, and we hope you will too. –and if you want to check out their new Greensboro location, there’s a link right at the top of the website.

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