Sean Wingfield spent more than three hours Friday night playing video games.
He started with Joust, then moved onto Asteroid, then Donkey Kong and Area 51. A little after 10 p.m., he was getting ready to move onto the pinball section of Benson's newest bar, Beercade, 6102 inner Maple St.
"My inner nerd has been appeased," he said.
Wingfield, 30, was one of hundreds to stop by the Beercade on Friday, the first day the bar was officially open. When the bar opened at 2, there was already a small crowd gathered outside, said John Larkin, who co-owns Beercade with Alex Roskelly. The two also run nearby Jake's.
By evening, the bar was packed, he said.
Wingfield, like many who stopped on Friday, was drawn by the novelty of playing video games in a bar. He was impressed by the selections of both the beers -- Beercade has 25 on tap -- and the games, which include lots of classics like Street Fighter II and Missile Command.
The location, in Benson, didn't hurt either, he said.
"It's a good part of town," Wingfield said. "You come down here, you feel classy, you feel hip."
Beercade certainly looks hip. After Larkin and Roskelly bought the building last fall, one of the first things they did was paint a giant, extremely bright, graffiti-style mural featuring video game characters on one side of the building. That caught people's attention right away, Roskelly said.
"People kind of immediately got an idea of what we're trying to do," he said.
Later, they added a huge neon sign in the same style. The sign includes speakers through which Larkin piped video game mp3s in the days leading up to the opening.
Larkin and Roskelly also renovated the interior of the building, formerly a print shop, unearthing the original floors and pressed tin ceiling. They added a video game-themed tile mosaic behind the bar.
The main draw -- the games -- came mostly from Craigslist, Larkin said. They have about a dozen on the floor now, but have more in storage, which, like the beers on tap, will be periodically rotated.
The result reminded Ashley Irwin, 26, of a deluxe rec room.
"You know how in high school, you would go to that cool kid's house who had the fun parents with all the awesome games?"
Irwin, who was trying out the various pinball machines, said she was drawn mainly by the novelty of the beer/game combination. There's nothing similar in Omaha, she said, and she liked the laid-back feel of it.
Cameron Wiesen, 21, said he was also drawn by the novelty.
Just a few minutes after arriving, he had a PBR in hand and had already played Contra.
"I think this place is pretty legit," he said.
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