Yesterday, Chicago Loot Drop and the Emporium Arcade Bar came together to present Tokens and Tankards. The idea was to pair local craft beers with classic arcade games. We here at the Chi-Scroller like us some beer, and we like us some old-school arcade action, so when we first heard of Tokens and Tankards, we were immediately hooked. Oh, and here was the best part; the proceeds of the event go towards purchasing toys and books for the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital. So let’s recap here. Beer, check. Arcade games, check. Participating in an event that benefits children, check.
Even without the arcade games Emporium would be a great bar. With tons of craft beers to choose from and a warm atmosphere, it just feels like a great place to hang out. That said, the arcade games are truly what makes Emporium special. From 90’s beat-em-ups like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and X-Men, to 80’s fare like Asteroids, Defender, and Space Invaders, the machines give the place a wonderful sense of nostalgia. Some of the machines have a “well loved” quality (I’m looking at you Killer Instinct’s joystick), but the mix of alcohol and nostalgia seems to make each machine’s quirks more fun than annoying. Emporium’s location in the Wicker Park neighborhood attracts an eclectic crowd, which gives the bar a very open feel. Everyone there was clearly interested in the games, so there was no reason to hide your inner nerd.
The guys at Chicago Loot Drop planned an event that played perfectly to Emporium’s strengths. Many of the area’s local breweries were represented, and their beers were “expertly” paired with classic games meant to bring out the best in each. Now I’ll be honest, we’re talking about beer and arcade games here, so I couldn’t exactly present a thesis on each beer and game pairing. Here’s what I can tell you though; beer and arcade games go together like Mario and Luigi, like Ken and Ryu, like Space and Invaders.
I was able to catch up with Vince and Mike from Chicago Loot Drop and they mentioned that Tokens and Tankards has been their most successful event to-date. They’re not stopping though. With some interesting news on the way, and more events planned — including an event in January called “Dodgeball Dungeon” — Chicago Loot Drop is definitely working hard to bring us nerds together. We here at the Chi-Scroller will keep you guys aprised of any and all Loot Drop related goings-on in the future.