FlashBack Retro Pub – Nostalgia as a Bar Theme

Updated: Sep 20, 2021

When I was a kid growing up in DFW, I remember going to an Arcade in Keller, TX, called Tornado Terry’s. I believe it’s still in business. For something like $10 a day, you could play what felt like hundreds of different old and new arcade games. Street Fighter, Chrono Trigger, NASCAR, PacMan, Super Mario. You name it, they had it. Parents would drop their kids off on the weekends and let them hang out all day. It was a great time.

Last night I went to FlashBack RetroPub, in the Film Alley neighborhood of Downtown OKC. It’s a barcade, banking on the neon vintage 80’s a e s t h e t i c made popular by shows like Stranger Things. Classic 80’s hits playing, classic 80’s movie posters on the wall, classic 80’s arcade games.

$5 at the door and you get all you can play at 60 classic cabinet arcade games (most of them actually work), as well as Skee Ball and table top board games. It’s pretty much exactly like the arcades we went to as kids, but with a full service bar and better music.

The DJ announced he was taking requests, so I walked over and asked for “Straight Outta Compton,” which is barely 80’s but if it counts it counts. With a quick nod, he queued it up next. Fire.

FlashBack is right across the street from the Jones Assembly. I’ve only been over there once before, and I’m definitely not their target demographic. But my impression of Jones was that it’s a place to be on your best behavior. I remember feeling that the crowd was made up of people desperately trying to be adults. Whatever that is.

Like I said, not for me. I’d rather spend a Friday night pretending to be a kid again.

Samuel Morstain

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