Morgantown is now home to a real, bonafide arcade.
Located beneath Bent Willey's on Chestnut Street, Starport Arcade and Pub is giving life to all those classics you miss from childhood: Pac-Man & Ms. Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Dig Dug, Centipede and more. There's also pinball, Skee-Ball, air hockey and racing games (I'm sure there's a more accurate name for these - anyone?).
The space is deceptively large and was previously used as an additional bar - and at one point a restaurant. It's right at the corner of Chestnut & Reid streets and beside the West Virginia Junior College. Since Bent Willey's is located on the upper level of the building, the arcade is ground level.
Walking in, you instantly see those old-school classics, then you turn the corner and see the driving games and a whole wall of pinball. The bar is open in the front and back, and if you move around toward the back, you see the Skee-Ball and air hockey. It's really pretty cool.
I'm always a huge advocate for local business and adding to the business scene in a new and different way. I think it complements the other offerings in town, and I love that there's something else to do in town.
I've never been a gamer, but I always love learning new things. So, I grabbed a few friends and went to check it out. On Fridays, they have "free play" from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., so all the games were free (and no cover!). Pizzas are $5, and there are drink specials, too.
Unless there's food somewhere, I don't really go. So, of course they also had a cool game-themed menu with "The Luigi" (pepperoni rolls), "Burgertime," "Dig Dug's Deep Frygar Pickles," "Sonicboom Wings," and more.
So, I ordered "The Luigi," - because A) It's a pepperoni roll and B) My love for Super Mario World is strong. Like, I'm not just one of those people that only casually knows about Mario and calls that their favorite game. I quite literally love Super Mario World and nearly bought a Super Nintendo solely for that game before realizing I couldn't get it on my Wii. So, yes, that's the only reason I have a Wii, as well. I LOVE Super Mario World.
The Luigi wasn't my absolute favorite rendition of the pepperoni roll - a bit too greasy, and the dough wasn't my favorite consistency. It wasn't soft like bakery fresh, but it wasn't crisp on the outside either. Somewhere in the middle. However, Lisa ordered the jalapeno poppers, and I thought those were pretty solid. They were filled with yellow cheese - not sour cream - and served with ranch. I definitely want to try the pizza, though, because Bent Willey's has a pretty good pizza. So, I'm guessing they should be pretty similar.
The food is a nice complement to the games - I don't think it's intended to be the star. But, it's great to have food - and drinks - while being able to play games. The drinks also have some cute names. The drink special this evening was $2.50 "rail drinks."
The management seems to be part Bent Willey's + part guy who's super into the arcade games. So, there's a real find attention to actual games and things they're bringing in and keeping them maintained, etc. So, I think for true, hardcore gamers, this is a goldmine, AND, I think for casual folks who want something fun to do - it's also a great option.
Personally, I fell in love with the Aerosmith pinball machine because I felt like it was smooth, and it wasn't scary (ha!), and it was just absolutely gorgeous. I spent a lot of time on it. Next time, I wanna try the Ghostbusters pinball machine. Someone was on it the whole time.
This was also the first time I ever played Centipede or Dig Dug or Donkey Kong on arcade machines. I spent some time playing Ms. Pac-Man, too.
Another cool thing to note is their involvement with the community. It seems as though they're dedicated to giving back, which is a great thing.
And, if you want to be even more involved, they do host events and have a league. So, have you been? What's your favorite game -- or which do I need to make sure I try next time?