A 1980s arcade dreamland rolls into Boston this week, providing a new space for folks to eat, drink, and play games. Versus (stylized as VERSUS) opens Thursday, October 11, at 42 Province St. in Downtown Crossing, serving up pub fare alongside arcade games.
Aiming for an ’80s pop culture vibe, Versus features murals from local artist Dirty Dek (stylized as Dirty DEK), as well as plenty of televisions and a kicking sound system, not to mention the collection of “retro-modern” games like Mortal Combat and pinball. There are also Nintendo and Xbox game hookups, tabletop games like Connect Four and Jenga, and Skee-Ball. The venue has room for nearly 250 people, with games planted around the space.
Games aside, Versus delivers a comfort food menu that includes appetizers, pizzas, burgers (including the vegan Impossible burger), sandwiches, and assorted sides, letting customers snack on everything from cheese steak spring rolls to mac and cheese bites while playing games. There are also cocktails, beer, and wine.
Versus joins a growing list of similarly themed bar-arcade hybrids that have popped up around Greater Boston in the last few years. A4cade in Cambridge, for example, is chock full of games like Pac-Man, Galaga, Frogger, and NBA Jam, while Bit Bar in Salem has pinball, Donkey Kong, Mortal Combat, Tetris, and lots more.
Beyond arcade games, the area also has a growing scene of food venues that provide other kinds of amusements, from candlepin bowling haven Flatbread Company to Kings, Lucky Strike Social, and Cheeky Monkey, not to mention the forthcoming ax-throwing bars and a brewery/climbing gym headed for Waltham.
Versus is part of the Big Night Entertainment Group (BNEG), which operates a number of other restaurants and nightlife venues in and around Boston, including Explorateur, the Grand, Red Lantern, and Empire. Versus takes over the location of another BNEG venue, Gem Restaurant and Lounge, which closed this summer.
Versus is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., Saturday from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
• Downtown Crossing Scores an Arcade Bar This Fall [EBOS]
• Versus Arcade Bar Opens This Week in Downtown Crossing [BM]
• Versus Boston [Official Site]