Headquarters Beercade: For the Kid in All of Us
“Aren’t you going to be eating at your thing tonight?” my fiancé asked as I fixed myself a functional, albeit lackluster, bowl of pasta for dinner. “I don’t think so, it’s a bar opening downtown so I’ll probably just have a beer, take some pictures, and head out early.”
Don’t make this mistake if you’re planning on visiting Headquarters Beercade, Nashville’s newest bar/arcade/hangout spot over on 2nd Avenue. No matter how much you may have eaten beforehand, it is unlikely that you’ll be able to keep yourself from trying most (if not all) of their nostalgic dishes over the course of the night. It is even more unlikely that you try fewer than ten of their varied arcade games, from Galaga to Donkey Kong to a full row of themed pinball machines. It is also unlikely that you will be heading out early.
Headquarters draws from a combination of its founders Chicago roots and, more broadly, roots in general. As explained by co-owner Chireal Jordan, the vision behind this beercade has always been about re-imagining the creative side of childhood in its fullest. Don’t be fooled though, the atmosphere has been crafted specifically for those who can claim to be influenced by the 80's. The food? “Chicago Beef” and the classic “Chicago Dog,” house-made pizza rolls, filo-wrapped mozzarella sticks with honey and pistachios, a variety of wings, and others (all of which are delicious). The drinks? Beers such as the 8-Bit IPA from Tall Grass Brewing company and an Apple Vodka and applesauce cocktail appropriately called “the Motts” help round out the overall menu. The venue? From the wall of cassette tapes to televisions airing old American Gladiators episodes, Headquarters stays true to their vision all the way through. At one point, I even saw Weird Al Yankovic as he graced the back corner television with his presence.
Did I mention Hulk Hogan fights playing non-stop on two of their mounted TVs?
Even considering all of this, perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of the entire experience came from an amazingly friendly staff. One could argue that anyone working in a self-proclaimed beercade probably doesn’t take themselves too seriously, but members on every level took time to make my evening memorable, and subsequently my return inevitable.
If you’re planning on making it over to Headquarters Beercade, make sure you know what to expect. Save your appetite, bring a group of people you know you can (tastefully) defeat at Mortal Kombat, and be prepared to be out late.
Open Monday-Thursday 4pm-3am, Friday-Sunday 11am-3am
114 2nd Avenue South