Portland >Attractions >
Arcades >Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade
511 NW Couch St, Portland, OR | Directions 9720945.523790 -122.675855
Neighborhoods: Neighbors West - Northwest, Old Town - Chinatown
If you responsibly--but still regrettably--use all your quarters on laundry, wait until the second Thursday of each month when a five dollar cover allows free play of all (ALL!) the games. Mash those buttons to your inner-child's heart's content.
A cheap date here means feeding your sig. other's pinball machine with quarters, and her stomach with cheap fare costing you $6 and under.
Ground Kontrol is an awesome way to spend an evening. Lots of fun on the upstairs pinball floor and a calendar of events with a little something for everyone. No warm n fuzzy service, but staff is nice enough. That's ok, I'm here for Ms.Pac Man anyhow.
Best casual hangout to relax after 7pm on a weekday, have a couple $2 Pabsts, plunk some quarters. – First of all, the last reviewer admits to trashing games then gets mad when confronted by security? The pinball machines are rigged? - LOL - loved that one!! If I paid $3,750.00 for a new pinball machine and some Spikoli came in and whaled on it I would do more than ask him to leave.
Elitist? - ridiculous. I have been hear probably 50 times in the last year and I've never had a negative experience. The people there are top notch. I don't know their names, but the front pedestal person that checks ID is always very pleasant. The girl in the cool black glasses that usually serves the Pabst is totally cool and fun to chat with; she even chases me down because I tip too much ($4 for a beer with tip is too much?).
For gaming, Rush the Rock is linked up and it is a blast. So are the old school games like Ms Pac Man.
Pinballs upstairs include Roadshow (like new), Addams Family, South Park, and my favorite, No Fear. They have about 20 of them up there.
My only complaints/comments is that some of the games are very loud and other have the volume turned down so low you can't hardly hear them (No Fear). The other is live band nights. Frickin loud!! I mean crazy loud! You might want to plan on bringing earplugs, or they have dorky orange ones at the counter.
All in all a top notch place to relax. If you are looking to get away and relax, even alone, check it out.
Aggressive employees, eliteist crowd, and pinball machines are rigged. – Had a couple of bad experiences there. I have driven there more than once to find out that it's rented out for the evening, which is something they don't make mention of on they're website event calender. Kind of dissapointing to be turned away at the door more than once. But I returned often only to be confronted recently by an employee saying he caught me on camera pushing a machine...Which I wrongfully did, and I did not argue. But the employee kept coming twords me and yelling like he was trying to start a fight. Saying he would throw me out, and he caught me on camera. I put my ipod back on to de-fuse the situation, and he walked away. I have done business with that employee several times, and even tipped him generously. I went there long enough to where they stopped ID'ing me, so I know they recognized me. I have often seen people, including owners brutalizing those machines, and never seen anyone confronted. So I'm not sure what happened there. I've noticed like any other business as it gaines popularity especially in Portland, that the crowd, and the employees become somewhat eliteist. That's exactly what's happening there now...There is almost a dress code that you have to wear a tiny round military cap, and drink those tiny Jamaican beers. So I go during the weekdays when it's dead. But this last episode has me shaking my head. There is a bit of a casino vibe in that if you play a pinball machine, and are successful, you might come back a few days later to find that same machine feels totally different, the level on the side reads much more incline, and there are NOTCHES TAKEN OUT OF THE RUBBER FLIPPER POINTS to lose another quarter of an inch in the center drain....However if your a pinball guy like me you don't have many choices in town, and this place offers a ton of them.
All they need is Space Paranoids.. – Having been a hardcore gamer since the early 80's, I jumped at the chance to visit a retro arcade.
I was not dissapointed! They had it all, space invaders, frogger, TRON!, Rampage, etc.
I was even delighted to find their new aquisition Discs Of Tron!
It was a great experience, and I was overjoyed to find coin op games for 25 cents again
Fun! – My husband and I went here when we first started dating and it was fun because we played games we both loved as a kid. Good cute/fun/romantic/cheap date. The customer service stinks the last couple times I've gone there but there's not really a reason to talk to them unless you want to order something to drink or buy a game or movie. Also, no minors after 7pm which is cool if you want to drink but otherwise kind of a bummer if you're with younger people.
Such Delight! – Ground Kontrol is definitely one of my favorite places in Portland! Retro Video games, live music, and now, beer and wine after 7 pm. Friendly, helpful staff and a great atmosphere! Grab a PBR and your spot in front of the new Lord of the Rings pinball table for great shows and live dj's several nights of the week! Worth your quarter, no question.
Downtown Portland game shop allows those craving the carefree pre-web days to relive memories of a misspent youth. – In Short
Unique downtown "retrocade" features all the original stand-up arcade classics, from Asteroids and Space Invaders to Q-Bert and Burgertime. The store also carries that old-school favorite, Atari, along with dozens of original game cartridges, including Pong, Centipede and Paperboy. What's more, there's a selection of vinyl, cassettes and 8-tracks.
Too much fun! – I have been a die hard ever since this place opened. Great tunes are usually jamming overhead while I plunk quarters into the classics at this old school arcade. Dark, like an arcade is supposed to be, with all the best games. Whats your pleasure, sir? Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Punch Out, Moon Patrol, Spy Hunter, Pole Positition (sit in model, of course) and a host of other greats. CD's, vinyl and videos are for sale alongside games for Atari, Intelivision and Colecovision. Don't have a system? No worry, they sell those also. Get some quarters, buy a Vanilla coke and zone with some of these old time friends. Big kudos to Neil, manager and owner of Ground Kontrol, for the inspired idea!
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