We literally move tons of fun
for your enjoyment!
Dedicated classic game enthusiasts, we met up through the group Boston Retro Gamers and found the area lacking in outlets of community enjoyment of the classics. For the love of vintage games, we started working on Bit Fest, a totally impractical concept where we would wrangle 30 plus arcade machines to pop-up in local breweries, a cafe bookstore, and even a hair salon for a day or two. The reaction was amazing. So far, we have done this on a shoestring budget. Using the small proceeds from our events to find and fix up more games and eventually to rent some warehouse lab space.
There is something exhilarating about finding one of these machines forgotten in a basement or barn, you can clearly see the 35 years of both love and abuse. The feeling you get when it lights up for the first time after years of neglect is hard to explain. The knowledge and parts needed to fix them are quickly becoming part of a bygone era. However, it is clear that as a culture, we have a deep emotional attachment to these games and groups of passionate people have sprung up to keep them a playable part of our shared history.
This entire time we have had our eye on opening a permanent arcade restaurant and bar. A place where friends can gather to play the classics, grab a craft local beer and delicious food. Arcade bars are a proven concept nationally but something that the greater Boston area has been missing. We aim to put our own stamp on this concept by sharing our love for the art, music, and culture of classic games. We also are looking for ways of connecting with the heirs of this legacy, independent game developers, with a dedicated space for them to exhibit and special events for presentations of new creations.
Building on Bit Fest’s overwhelming success and the excitement and encouragement of our amazing supporters, the Bit Fest team is thrilled to now bring to Salem—greater Boston area's very first Bar-Arcade—Bit Bar!
“There are conversation pieces and natural shared experiences, and you find yourself breaking into conversation with people about all sorts of things, the games being a catalyst for that. The beer doesn’t hurt that, either.” — Rob Hall, quoted in Take Magazine
Fans will have no need to wait for the next Bit Fest to pop-up in the greater Boston area to enjoy reveling in classic arcade games! Across from the historic site of the Parker Brothers game company in Salem, MA, the old jailhouse will be getting a big dose of funtimes!
Bit Bar features incredible craft brews and spirits from breweries and distilleries from around the local area that you know and love. We offer exciting, delicious food created by our incredibly talented and creative executive chef that will make your mouth and your taste buds rejoice. Enjoy the outdoor patio, play 30 plus classic arcade cabinets and pinball tables, and power up!
We have proven that we can accomplish ridiculous and fun things! Together we move literally tons of fun for your enjoyment! Please help support us and make awesome ready-super-mega-turbo-neo funtimes possible for all! Thank you!
Joshua Allen - Vintage game houdini and hero of forlorn arcade machines. Expert rehabilitator, he scours basements as far away as Buffalo and Bangor rescuing vintage games from despair, neglect, and decay.
Gideon Coltof - Positive can-do force of nature, master organizer, enthusiastic cat herder and business/legal wrangler lynchpin!
Rob Hall - Enthusiastic nice guy, creative genius, mediator, seed planter. Creator of Boston Retro Gamers and marketing and special event organizer.
Max Clark - Welcoming host, our very own skeptic realist restauranteur advisor with humor. Years of experience from the trenches and one of the dedicated core.
Andrew Wiley - Vintage culture networker, dandypants (see pic above), unherdable cat. Proprietor of a vintage shop and pivotal for community outreach.
Raz Casarjian - Persistent game mechanic, zealous helper and token specialist, internet nihlist.
Beth Swan - Designer and craftswoman extraordinaire, refuses the soft bigotry of low expectations.
Dominic Amenta - Our Public Relations guru and supporter.
Eric Spackman - Our very own personal Batman - unwavering and steadfast manager of chaos, bringer of patience and zen!