This was a recent textversation between Mike Conklin, editor of Brooklyn Magazine, and me. We were discussing the upcoming event to celebrate Barcade’s 10th anniversary on October 23:
Mike Conklin: “Yo.”
MC: “Look at this.
MC: “The beer list is bananas.
Me: “Shit. It is.”
Our exhilarating exchange prompted me to text Paul Kermizian, one of the four owners of Barcade. We met to discuss the event and reflect on the decade-long existence of the (Bar + Arcade)’s original location in Williamsburg, and we’ll post that next Friday. We did this, interestingly, at the newest Barcade on St. Marks Place, which opened yesterday.
St. Marks, the smallest of the five Barcades, is “mostly 90s and fight games-focused. It’s the first time we have fight games, so we’re putting them all in one spot,” says Kermizian. Mortal Kombat II, Street Fighter, Fatal Fury Special, and Metal Slug are among the 30 titles, though some pre-’90s classics are also present, including Donkey Kong and Ms. Pacman.
Lee Knoeppel, the chef at Barcade’s other outpost in Manhattan, in Chelsea, will also captain the kitchen at St. Marks. The menu isn’t finalized yet, but we should expect “a lot of sandwiches, mostly the same menu as the first,” Kermizian says. “But this will be the first of our spots with wings. It just makes sense with the fighting games.”
An interesting tidbit: The sliver of white-tiled wall behind the bar’s 24 drafts is a remnant from one of the previous tenants of 6 St. Marks Place, The New St. Marks Baths, a gay bathhouse that operated from 1979-1985. It was, according to the New York Times, originally a “Turkish bath from 1906 until the late 1970’s, when the elderly of the Lower East Side briefly shared the facilities with a nighttime clientele of homosexuals.”
The above poster was commissioned to promote the bathhouse’s makeover in 1979. “We’re trying to get a big version for one of the walls. It looks like something from a video game,” Kermizian says.
All photos by Jane Bruce.