The Archives: An Arcade Bar for Burlington

Have you noticed the construction happening at the bottom of College Street? Well it’s just about finished and there’s a new bar coming to town! ‘The Archives’ is more than just a bar though—this new joint is actually going to be an arcade bar. As co-owner Adam Lukens puts it, it combines all the joy of “low-brow entertainment with high-brow drinking”. Doesn’t sound like a bad combo, huh?IMG_6770

When I popped down for a visit on Monday morning, I walked into a beautiful space with dark wood floors, a striking stone bar counter lined with more than twenty locally crafted bar stools, and the glow of 35 arcade games from wall-to-wall. Pac-man was one of the closest games to the front door. Lukens explains that he’s from Brooklyn and used to live right around the corner from one of the first groundbreaking arcade bars. He got the idea a few years ago that downtown Burlington would be a perfect spot for another one and began looking for locations. Three years after having the original idea, he and his co-owner found the perfect location near the corner of College and Church, and now a year after they got the space, The Archives is finally ready to open to the public on Thursday, March 31.

The bar plans on offering a combination of local craft beers and spirits, as well as some more mass-market options to appeal to different crowds. They’ll also have some snazzy sounding bar snacks—think cheese plates, bread, nuts—and are eventually planning on specializing in grilled cheeses. The games will eventually be played with tokens that you can buy at the bar, but for the first few weeks they’ll all be free, so it’s a great time to stop by and check the place out.IMG_6769 There are 35 games in place now, and they have ten more in storage that they’ll rotate through so that there’s always something new to try. Lukens, whose favorite childhood game was Mario Bros., says that the team’s current favorite game is “NBA Jam”, a hyper-competitive digital basketball game for four players. Most of the game choices were obvious for them, they say (“Spy Hunter, of course”) and arcade suppliers in New England recommended the others. It seems like there will be something nostalgic as well as something new to try for everyone.

Although they are currently only open to the 21+ crowd, if you are old enough it seems like The Archives will be making quite the splash in town this week, so head on over to see what it’s all about! And keep your eyes peeled in the future for brewery specials, tap takeovers, and game competitions to come….


The Archives

191 College Street, Burlington, VT

Open Thurs. 3/31

Noon-2am Saturday and Sunday

4pm-2am Weekdays

Header photo courtesy of The Archives on Facebook, all others by UVM BORED.