A Salem restaurant and bar filled with arcade games and comfort food will expand to a suburb north of Boston. Bit Bar (50 Saint Peter St., Salem) — with all its retro machines and Tetris-inspired tater tots — will open a new location within the J Malden Center development at 190 Pleasant St., near the Malden Center MBTA stop, a representative for the J Malden Center confirmed. A representative for Bit Bar wasn’t immediately available for comment.
Bit Bar first opened within the Old Salem Jail in June 2016, filling the space with a rotating array of pinball and video arcade games. Leaning into the theme, Bit Bar serves dishes like “Tetris tots” (potatoes in the shape of Tetris blocks), mac and cheese “bytes,” and an elk burger, a nod to the popular game Big Buck Hunter.
The J Malden Center development is still under construction, so further details on the timeline for Bit Bar’s opening are forthcoming. The arcade bar will join a handful of other retail and restaurant operations in the same complex, including Landsmith, which will be an outdoor adventure-centric cafe from Union Square Donuts co-founder Heather Schmidt.
Bit Bar’s Malden opening will make another arcade bar accessible to the Boston area, which already has the likes of A4cade (in Cambridge) and Versus (in downtown Boston) drawing in gaming crowds. Plenty of other area bars have a few games as well, but dedicated arcade spaces are few and far between. (For those who prefer gaming with a bit more physical activity, Malden also has “reality gaming” venue Boda Borg, which gives customers physical and/or mental team challenges.)
Stay tuned for updates on an opening timeline for Bit Bar Malden and the J Malden Center’s other forthcoming venues.