LIMERICK’s first ever arcade bar is preparing to open its doors in the coming weeks.
‘Level Up’ will open on the 15th of November and hopes to bring an alternative bar experience to the city.
In addition to a full bar and restaurant, Level Up will have a huge variety of arcade games from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.
After going to a so-called ‘Barkade’ in Texas, co-founder of Level Up Alan O’Grady spotted a gap in the Irish market and decided to capitalise on the opportunity.
“I went to Texas last year to a Pinball festival and we decided to go to a Barkade. We saw retro games, moderns games and craft beer which went down really well for corporate and private parties. I saw that they were doing very well in England as well and decided to try and bring it to Limerick,” says Mr. O’Grady.
Level Up is located on Ashbourne Avenue in Limerick’s city centre. The two-storey premises will host over 60 arcade machines which have been sourced from as far away as Japan ranging from modern virtual reality consoles to retro ‘pinball’ machines.
A full bar and restaurant service will be provided including gourmet burgers and wings, all of which will be sourced locally and produced on site.
Chief Executive of the Vitners Federation of Ireland, Padraig Cribben says that this type of bar experience will certainly add to the sector in the city.
“Any offering that’s different adds to the options that are available and open to consumers. It adds to the variety and scope of the whole sector in the city and that’s to be welcomed,” says Mr. Cribben.
Although in close proximity to Mary Immaculate college, Mr. O’Grady isn’t limiting his target audience to the student population.
“We’re trying to target the hipster audience and the older man or woman who used to play these games in the 80’s and 90’s. We’re also trying to hit the Asian markets with the ultra-modern Japanese games we’ll have on the top floor. It’ll be a mixture of everything,” he says.
Construction works are well underway at the premises but unfortunately Mr. O’Grady suffered a major financial set back when the beer coolers which were included in the purchase of the property were deemed unusable.
The replacement of these coolers has had a major impact on their budget to the tune of €12,000. This financial set back has left Level Up without the necessary funds to install a disabled toilet – a facility that Level Up are adamant to provide.
“We had everything covered until we ran into problems with the disabled toilets. This premises never had disabled toilets or even access to them as the elevator wasn’t working. We have to put in a brand new disabled toilet so that the experience is open to everyone but then we got another kick in the teeth when the two [beer coolers] were deemed obsolete and they are 12k to 15k to replace,” says Mr. O’Grady.
In light of this, the Level Up co-founder has started a Kickstarter campaign to try and raise the necessary money to install the disabled toilets along with the ramps that are needed to accompany it.