Salt Lake bartenders open first-of-its-kind arcade bar

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A Salt Lake City couple who work as bartenders had a dream where you could play Space Invaders and order a Sangria or play pinball and request a pint. This couple has turned their hopes and hard work into the Quarters Arcade Bar in Salt Lake City, Utah’s first establishment of its kind.

Quarters Arcade Bar is opening today and occupies a 7,000 square-foot-space of the old Club Manhattan at 5 E. 400 South. The downtown entertainment center will bring at least 25 jobs to the city and $300,000 of investment. The owners and self-proclaimed SLC evangelists, Michael Eccleston and Katy Willis, say they specifically wanted their business in Salt Lake City.

The arcade bar concept is a national trend that we are excited to bring to the market while breathing new life into a historic bar space,” says Eccleston. “Our downtown location has the demographic and amenities we were looking for — young, hip residents, steps away from the courthouse Trax stop and at the center of the bar, nightlife, and entertainment scene.”

With seven-days-a-week entertainment and a unique interactive environment, Quarters Arcade Bar strives to be a destination location unlike any other, where patrons not only enjoy the gaming experience but each other. Eccleston says Quarters Arcade Bar will go beyond a typical bar, with space and ability to host tournaments, private events and anything gaming-related for Utahns to enjoy.

“This is a great addition to making the downtown Salt Lake City experience unique in the region,” says Mayor Jackie Biskupski. “This is a historic location and the perfect place to relive days at the arcade and make new memories.”

Quarters Arcade Bar received $150,000 of funding through the city’s Economic Development Loan Fund (EDLF). Eccleston says the EDLF was a unique and much simpler process to secure funding than other loan programs.

“The City is working hard to ensure our business community knows about the different resources available to them,” says Lara Fritts, economic development director for Salt Lake City. ”It’s exciting to see how one of our funding options was utilized to turn Quarters Arcade Bar from an idea into something thousands of residents and visitors will enjoy in Salt Lake City.”

The space was built in the basement of the New Grand Hotel in 1910. It has been home to many businesses until it became a dance and cabaret club in the 1930s, then the Chi Chi Club and Club Manhattan.

The Quarters Arcade Bar has pinball machines, a board game library and classic arcade games like Space Invaders, Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, and X-Men. It also has the latest tabletop games — and will soon have a custom Dungeons and Dragons table.

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