With the recent opening of the Ruckus Room, Bellingham suddenly has enough arcade bars and gaming lounges around town for a proper roundup. From kids to adults; old-school pinball wizards to modern console gamers, there’s an arcade for everyone in Whatcom County.
And local craft beer lovers rejoice: each of these four arcades serve up the suds. So without further ado, let’s get gaming!
What’s all the ruckus about? The newest arcade in town, Ruckus Room, of course! This family-friendly arcade welcomes kids and adults alike into its aptly-named Fun Center. Featuring pinball, Pacman, Skee-Ball and sit-down racing games, this room is all about variety. Shoot hoops or shoot a big buck: the choice is yours. In the spirit of the old-school arcade, Ruckus Room operates on a redemption model. Collect enough tickets and you can redeem for a prize (like the cool cat sticker I managed to walk out with).
Ruckus Room is a casual hangout spot. Several tables provide seating space for those who’d prefer to settle in with a beer and simply spectate. Canned and bottled brews are available, with familiar offerings from Boundary Bay, Georgetown, Fremont, and others. Ruckus Room holds weekly pinball tournaments, and their space is available for hosting parties.
1423 Railroad Ave.
Bellingham, WA 98225
Monday – Thursday, 3 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Friday, 3 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Saturday, 11 a.m. – 12 a.m.
Sunday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Fairhaven’s hot spot for family fun, Best Buds is one of my personal favorites in town. Why? Because it combines two of my favorite pastimes: console gaming and craft beer. You won’t find pinball machines here. Rather, Best Buds focuses on all things video games, from Nintendo classics to current favorites. They also offer a solid selection of draft taps, cans, and bottled beer — along with cider, wine, soda, and “junk food delicacies”. Where else could you get a cold glass for your Code Red Mountain Dew?
Best Buds holds weekly events including Super Smash Bros. Melee tournaments, movie screenings, Anime Nights, and more.
Minors are welcome till 8 pm daily, when Best Buds becomes an adults-only lounge for the night.
1121 McKenzie Ave.
Bellingham, WA 98229
Monday – Friday, 1 p.m. – 1 a.m.
Saturday: 12 p.m. – 1 a.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Reset Games is first and foremost a video game retail shop. But their adjoining Arcade Edition offers the full-on coin-op experience, with arcade cabinets, pinball machines, snacks, and of course local beer. A survey of the beer cooler reveals Aslan Brewing Co. cans, tall boys, and everything in between. This all-ages venue is perfect for parents who need to blow off some steam on the playfield while the kiddos try their hand at Pacman. Regular tournaments keep the ball rolling for pinheads. Smash Bros. fans can get in on the tourney action, too, with events every other Thursday.
1255 Barkley Blvd. Ste 101
Bellingham, WA 98226
Monday – Saturday: 10 am – 9 pm
Sunday: 11am – 8pm
First off, let Lorraine give you a proper introduction to The Racket. Sister biz of The Shakedown, The Racket is known for three things: eats, drinks, and pinball. Head here for arguably the best Philly Cheesesteak in town, served on hoagies straight from Philadelphia. A variety of falafel options are available as well, always prepared “strictly vegetarian”. Wash it all down with your choice of 14 rotating taps, from local favorites to Guinness on nitro. Upstairs, the pinball room boasts some 15+ vintage pinball machines. Tournaments and trivia nights keep things fresh at The Racket. Sorry kids, this bar is 21 and over only!
1220 N. State Street
Bellingham, WA 98225
11 a.m. – 2 a.m, every day!