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Both Chicago Arcade Bars Announce Big Expansions

By Anthony Todd in Food on Apr 5, 2013 2:00PM

The interior of Headquarters Beercade.

It's rare to see a bar or restaurant phenomenon take off as hard and as fast as this one. Everyone we know loves one or both of the new(ish) Chicago "arcade bars," Emporium and Headquarters. Both embody pretty much the same concept: 80s arcade games, good beer and whiskey and a lot of nostalgia. Apparently our friends are a pretty good sample of the public, since both bars are already planning expansions after less than a year in business.

We were first tipped off to Emporium Arcade Bar's expansion a few weeks ago during a night of gaming and carousing. The gossip was that they were planning to take over the space next door for an expansion and a performance space. DNA Chicago confirmed the story earlier this week - Emporium will be expanding to the storefront next door by June. The plan will nearly double the arcade bar's usable space and provide space for private events.

Headquarters Beercade started out as a much smaller venue than Emporium, but its popularity has also led to a big expansion. A representative from Headquarters told us yesterday about, wait for it, a pinball expansion. If you didn't just jump up and down inside, you are no fun at all. They claim that this 7000 square foot expansion will create the largest collection of pinball machines in the Midwest.

Unfortunately, if you're a fan of Uncle Fatty's, get ready to say goodbye. Headquarters is right next door and shares the same owners - and the new 7000 square feet for Headquarters will be the former 7000 square feet of Uncle Fatty's. The "Rum Resort" will close on May 4.