Walking through the shiny glass door, we knew right away that we had picked the right place to spend our Saturday evening. Located between South Park and the China Basin in San Francisco, Coin-Op Game Room is a true gem for nostalgic gamers. This two-story bar has plenty of space and plenty of games.
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Entering Coin-Op Game Room
The walkway into the main portion of this arcade game filled bar-arcade is enclosed in a tunnel made of dark wood slats. It’s as if you’re being transported into another, more fun, time. My husband and I headed straight to the bar to explore what was on tap.
After picking our poison, we did a lap to see what our options were and where we wanted to get started. We explored the downstairs first, lingering at many games before making our way upstairs. We made mental notes of everything we wanted to play and went back downstairs to exchange some cash for change. As my husband stated, “Younger me would have never believed I’d have this many coins one day!”
Bar-Arcade Game Time!
First up was a racing game. I love racing games. Unfortunately, this one was not easy, I lost and came in maybe 6th or 8th place. Whatever, I love racing around like a maniac so I still had a good time. My h usband did much better coming in 1st and earning a free game. I had to insert more coins to continue playing with him.
Next up, we walked across the bar to an old-school favorite: NBA Jam. I remember playing this with my brother when I was younger and being pretty damn good at it. Turns out I’ve still got it. Initially, I was First Player, but the controls weren’t working. When given the chance I switched to Second Player. I was down 15 or so points. After switching, I not only made an epic comeback. I won!
We decided to take a break from competitive games after that and play some pinball. We’re both horrible at pinball. What is the strategy besides hitting the flipper buttons any time the ball gets near the flippers? I don’t know. If you do, help me out and comment! Anyway, we attempted Star Wars pinball, Deadpool Pinball, and Game of Thrones pinball. We gloriously failed at all of them.
Needing to re-inflate his ego, after the NBA Jam defeat, I agreed to play Mortal Kombat against my husband next. This was no competition, he kept freezing me, he was Sub-Zero, so I couldn’t even move. After a few rounds and randomly hitting/moving the controls as quickly as I could, I did manage to accidentally beat him once. I had no idea what I was doing so any combos that I pulled off were purely coincidental. Needless to say, he won.
At this point, we both had triumphant wins so there was no need to compete further. Plus, watching others play was almost as amusing as actually playing. This was especially true when it came to Dance, Dance Revolution. One guy was at the “High Score? What’s that?? Did I break it?” level. Look at the GIF below for reference. If you don’t get the reference, go watch Grandma’s Boy after reading this post!
Once we grew tired of people watching we decided to call it a night. We both had a great time and I can’t wait to go back and play again! When in San Francisco, I highly recommend having some fun at the Coin-Op Game Room.
Are you a fan of arcade game themed bars? Which one is your favorite?
Another favorite Bar-Arcade of mine was Insert Coins. Insert coins was in Downtown Las Vegas, but it, unfortunately, closed in 2015. On the other hand, Hi Scores, another great Las Vegas Bar-Arcade is still open!
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