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  1. #1

    Plaza District Up-Down Arcade Bar

    Regional arcade bar coming to the Plaza District

    With locations in Des Moines, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Minneapolis and St. Louis, Up-Down is moving forward with plans to come to Oklahoma City.



    A 2-story building now under construction in the Plaza District will be home to the arcade bar, which typically features more than 50 arcade games from the 80's and 90's, classic Skee-Ball, plus pinball machines, Nintendo and Sega console games and life-size Connect Four and Jenga. Up-Down charges a quarter for each game play.





    Up-Down started in 2013 in Des Moines where founder and co-owner Josh Ivey opened next to his own live music venue to provide patrons a place to go before and after shows.

    Including Oklahoma City, the concept will grow to 6 locations with more planned.

    In addition to the games, Up-Down features house-made pizza by the slice or whole and an extensive offering of craft beer and 80's and 90's themed cocktails.







    The 6,500 square foot building at 1629 NW 16th is being constructed by Choctaw developer Al Sahli and will feature a lower level patio and a large upstairs balcony with an outdoor fireplace.

    Construction started late last year. The architect is Sam Gresham.






  2. #2

    Default Re: Up-Down Arcade Bar

    another great get for that district

  3. #3

    Default Re: Up-Down Arcade Bar

    Up-Down has a very good reputation in their existing cities.

    Far enough away from FlashBack they both should thrive.

    Up-Down charges for their games, though.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Up-Down Arcade Bar

    I'm tired of driving out to Cactus Jack's for pinball. If this place maintains their pinball machines (a big if) then they are going to get A LOT of my money.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Up-Down Arcade Bar

    I hope both will do well but just based on the pics I would head here over Flashback for more room, full bar with beers on tap and food.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Up-Down Arcade Bar

    Quote Originally Posted by DoctorTaco View Post
    I'm tired of driving out to Cactus Jack's for pinball. If this place maintains their pinball machines (a big if) then they are going to get A LOT of my money.
    Agreed. I am hoping they maintain their pins. If not, back to Cactus Jacks

  7. #7

    Default Re: Up-Down Arcade Bar

    I understand Up-Down does a good job of maintaining their equipment, as they have been doing this for a while and have the benefit of scale and resources.

    But unlike FlashBack, they won't have a dancefloor or as many retro-themed parties.

    I really do think there is room for both, especially since there is some physical distance.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Up-Down Arcade Bar

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    I really do think there is room for both, especially since there is some physical distance.
    And there's just enough differences between each to make them unique. Unlike Rewind, which was basically a ripoff of Flashback.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Up-Down Arcade Bar

    I went to the Up-Down in Minneapolis last summer and had a blast. It was really well done, the machines worked, and there were a lot of things to do, and there were good drink options. I think this place will do great.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Up-Down Arcade Bar

    What a fantastic score for The Plaza.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Up-Down Arcade Bar

    The pictures look great. Is this an Adult only venue? My Wife and I like to occasionally go retro and go play some Pinball. Since we live in Mustang, we go to Cactus Jack's.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Up-Down Arcade Bar

    Quote Originally Posted by Mel View Post
    The pictures look great. Is this an Adult only venue? My Wife and I like to occasionally go retro and go play some Pinball. Since we live in Mustang, we go to Cactus Jack's.
    I believe it will be 21+

  13. #13

    Default Re: Up-Down Arcade Bar

    Ironically their pizza window has a big picture of Eazy-E next to it. lol

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Up-Down Arcade Bar

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    I believe it will be 21+
    Thank you for the info. My Wife and I have that age bracket well covered.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Up-Down Arcade Bar

    Very exciting get for the Plaza!
    Slightly off topic, but what do you guys see as the future (expansion-wise) for the plaza district?
    With housing prices skyrocketing along 16th street, are we approaching an affordability cap for the buy a house, rezone it, and knock it down model?
    Personally, I think it would be pretty cool if they started doing an Austin Rainey Street thing, buying houses and converting them into bars (think Patriarch in Edmond).
    I just worry that the 3/4 million dollar houses popping up on 16th street (and the people buying them that don't want the house next door turning into a bar) are going to hinder the growth of the area and would like to hear some other opinions.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Up-Down Arcade Bar

    Quote Originally Posted by BridgeBurner View Post
    Very exciting get for the Plaza!
    Slightly off topic, but what do you guys see as the future (expansion-wise) for the plaza district?
    With housing prices skyrocketing along 16th street, are we approaching an affordability cap for the buy a house, rezone it, and knock it down model?
    Personally, I think it would be pretty cool if they started doing an Austin Rainey Street thing, buying houses and converting them into bars (think Patriarch in Edmond).
    I just worry that the 3/4 million dollar houses popping up on 16th street (and the people buying them that don't want the house next door turning into a bar) are going to hinder the growth of the area and would like to hear some other opinions.
    I could see that possibly happening moving west .. but going east I think you are right.. that ship has sailed

  17. #17

    Default Re: Up-Down Arcade Bar

    The zoning for this project was formally approved yesterday at City Council.

    Up-Down had met with neighbors and Plaza merchants as there were concerns about what is typically a pretty large-scale operation. This was all voluntary as they fall slightly outside the official Plaza merchant group boundary.

    The volunteered not to serve pizza out of their kitchen (deference to Empire, which didn't ask for this) and scaled by to 4,200 square feet vs. more than 7,000. This means there will be additional space for lease in their building which is now under construction.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Up-Down Arcade Bar

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    The zoning for this project was formally approved yesterday at City Council.

    Up-Down had met with neighbors and Plaza merchants as there were concerns about what is typically a pretty large-scale operation. This was all voluntary as they fall slightly outside the official Plaza merchant group boundary.

    The volunteered not to serve pizza out of their kitchen (deference to Empire, which didn't ask for this) and scaled by to 4,200 square feet vs. more than 7,000. This means there will be additional space for lease in their building which is now under construction.
    I'm not sure how I feel about this, I would rather it be the original plan. With them scaling back the plan by over 2,800sf I wonder if they are keeping food at all, if not that really hinders the draw at least in my mind. I liked the idea of being able to eat/drink/play in the same spot, having to leave to get food and come back isn't near as appealing as it seems like another Flashback rather than something different all together. Maybe I will be proven wrong and I hope I am, as I was very excited for this project.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Up-Down Arcade Bar

    That's a bummer to see it get scaled back

  20. #20

    Default Re: Up-Down Arcade Bar

    They are definitely keeping food, just not pizza.

    Keep in mind even a 4,200 SF operation is big and well bigger than anything else in the Plaza.

    There were legitimate concerns that 7,000+ SF was way, way out of proportion for the district.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Up-Down Arcade Bar

    Yeah, that's true. Just would have been nice to have somewhere scaled large enough to consistently be active.
    I can't tell you how many times I've walked to the Press on a nice day hoping to sit on the patio only to find the patio bar closed and the chairs stacked up (hoping this changes as the summer goes on).
    What is a good comparison size-wise for 4,200 sq ft and 7,000 sq ft bars in OKC? I know Jones is 20,000 and a quick google search says just the outdoor section of Fassler is 8,000.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Up-Down Arcade Bar

    Correction: the new number is 4,700SF.

    FlashBack was 3,500SF but they just expanded again and now have 5,400. And that place is pretty enormous.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Up-Down Arcade Bar

    Quote Originally Posted by BridgeBurner View Post
    Yeah, that's true. Just would have been nice to have somewhere scaled large enough to consistently be active.
    I can't tell you how many times I've walked to the Press on a nice day hoping to sit on the patio only to find the patio bar closed and the chairs stacked up (hoping this changes as the summer goes on).
    What is a good comparison size-wise for 4,200 sq ft and 7,000 sq ft bars in OKC? I know Jones is 20,000 and a quick google search says just the outdoor section of Fassler is 8,000.
    Interesting you say this about the Press, I always have to wait 20+ minutes for a table or we leave and go someplace else due to the wait being over an hour.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Up-Down Arcade Bar

    They can try to lease the extra space and if they don't get a tenant they can always go back to the original plan and htey look like good guys because at least they tried. Not a criticism, just point out that this approach will be easier to digest for the neighbors.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Up-Down Arcade Bar

    ^

    I don't think there is anything in the approved planning documents that would prevent Up-Down from taking more space.

    But, their owner was in town to meet with residents and business owners and everyone said he was very kind and anxious to get along.


    I understand the concern given how places like Kong's and Fassler Hall can overrun even Midtown, let alone a much smaller district like the Plaza.

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