Waaaaaaaay back in February, I jumped in my little car for a trip to Bury, near Manchester. I was meeting with Andy Palmer, the man behind Arcade Club, which is, quite simply, phenomenal.
The top floor is packed with classic arcade machines, then there’s another floor of more modern cabinets along with Japanese curiosities, while the bottom floor is stuffed with consoles hooked up to huge TVs, as well as a whole section devoted to VR. All of the machines are on free play, and you can spend the whole day there for £16. There’s even a bar. It is a magical place.
Andy also turned out to be a dream interviewee, brimming with enthusiasm for the arcade chain he’s been steering from strength to strength since 2015. His passion is abundantly clear in the carefully chosen games he has selected for the arcade floor, as well as the dedication he and his technical team out in to keep everything running. In short, he’s a lovely bloke.
My feature on Arcade Club was due to go live on Eurogamer back in March, but then COVID-19 happened and everything was put on hold. Arcade Club had to shut its doors due to the country-wide lockdown, and the article was suddenly in limbo. But thankfully, Arcade Club pulled through it all, reopening at the end of July, and the Eurogamer feature has finally gone live.
Andy has put his plans for expanding Arcade Club on hold for the time being in light of the COVID-19 crisis, but the good news is that the business is still going – and doing very well from what I hear, despite having to limit visitor numbers to comply with social distancing. Long may it continue.
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