1UP Bar & Arcade: Denver, Colorado

A few months ago, I made by first visit to Colorado. (Lovely state, by the way!) As usual when we are visiting a new area, my wife and I often do a little research to see if there are any interesting gaming locations in the area. We found an indie game store, but I wasn’t a fan of the pricing and the selection didn’t blow my mind, so I didn’t find it worth a full tour.

Nice selection of well-maintained games

However, there is a great arcade bar in the heart of Denver (near Coors Field): the 1UP Bar. We initially went there on a Friday night to meet up with my sister-in-law. I have to say, I’m not a fan of busy Friday night bar scenes, but if you want to meet more ladies than usual in an arcade environment, this is your chance.

It's pretty busy here on a Friday night

That Friday night it was quite busy and you were a bit limited on what arcade machines were actually available to simply walk up to and play. It was nice, however to have a machine like Street Fighter II (Rainbow Edition) or Mortal Kombat and have a normal person to play against (not typically the practiced fighter types – just average guys that can appreciate the game)

Pac-Man Battle Royale

The food and beverages was tasty (see menu) –definitely enough to keep your belly happy while gaming and socializing.

Since we were going to be in town another day and we didn’t feel like we got to experience the whole place that well, we went back to see what it was like on a Saturday afternoon. I couldn’t have been happier with the Saturday experience. There were a handful of friendly people in there, but it was far from crowded. Just right if you ask me. It was also easier to appreciate how well the staff takes care of the place. It’s very clean and it was just a joy to look around.

Much More Calm on Saturday Afternoon

They have an excellent round-up of games (see current selection). The genres are very well-balanced so you won’t easily get bored. There’s plenty of pinball if that’s your thing. As far as the games go, I can’t find much to complain about.

Pinball Row

If my memory serves me correct, I didn’t have any significant issues with the arcade machines. There may have been one that had controls that were a bit off, but they seem to take really good care of their machines.

On a Friday night, you'll just a see a few open machines

There were also giant Jenga tables inside and outside the bar – those were pretty popular on Friday nights – a good group activity that the ladies seemed to enjoy.

Anyway, If I lived in Denver, I could see myself visiting at least once a week. If you live nearby, you need to give it a visit.

Jenga, anyone?

The wait at the entrance that Friday night

Cool Pac-Man Jr. Combo Video/Pinball

The Bar on Saturnday Afternoon

You can't even see all the machines in one shot


6-Player X-Men

Outdoor area for more Jenga tables (Friday Night)

Love the bathroom doors 🙂

Notice Steve Wiebe on the High Scores list?

In case you’re interested, here’s the contact info and hours for the place

The 1UP
1925 Blake Street,
Denver CO 80202

Mon-Sat 11–2am
Sun 12pm–2am


RyaN says:

I didn’t know about this place… and it’s in my own damn city. Good tour! Gotta check this place out.

Logan says:

Went to 1Up with a bunch a friends about a month ago – it was a great time. They rotate their games out regularly, so there’s often something new.

Check out Game Force in Boulder if you’re ever back in state. It’s the best retro game store I’ve found in Colorado. There are other Game Forces, but none hold a candle to the insane selection at the Boulder location.

Garuda says:

The best indie game store that I know of in the area is one called ‘Game Force’ which is in Boulder. Many of my friends in Denver come over just to go to that shop. Was that the one you visited?
(Website: http://www.gameforceboulder.com/)

As for 1up, I’m so happy you were able to review it. That place rocks!

Garuda says:

Wow, I didn’t even see Logan’s comment about the same place. Silly me.

Punk Rock Scott says:

If you are checking out barcades, I would say you should check out Dorky’s in Tacoma, WA. Although the bar is kind of small, the selection is LARGE. Plus they have a tech who actually knows how to service the machines so everything was in working order.

Marcus says:

That’s awesome and interesting. I’m in Keystone, which is about an hour away from Denver and it’ll be nice to have a reason to go there.

Eddie says:

Dude. I spent two weeks in Denver and couldn’t find anything involving retro gaming, and this was like 15 minutes from where I was staying. I guess I’ll have to remember that for next time.

David says:

Man that’s got to be one of the coolest bars in America. Next time I’m in Denver I’ll have to pop in

Alex says:

Man, if I still drank I’d be there every week. What a cool place. Thanks for sharing Im glad arcades of sort still exist and people appreciate them.

This is incredible! But! I see no stools or sitting options while playing the arcades. I do miss Japan’s ‘cades as they are a lot more comfy in that aspect. You get tired after a long day of work and standing really ruins the experience. Boo.

ott0bot says:

nice! I have family in Denver and will definitely check this out when I’m in town

other cool spots….
The Replay Lounge in Lawrence, KS. Pinball bar, with occasional live music and a great happy hour.

Tilt is Seattle….vegan ice cream, craft beer, and tons of games.

Im happy to say, here is Phoenix the El Barcade is opening soon. It’s a retro game lounge with a full bar and some food.

ott0bot says:

I meant “Tilt in Seattle”. ugh

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