Space Station Bar in Japan Combines Gaming and Bar Life
Box art from NES games and other retro systems lines the walls. A group of friends laugh as they play Mario Kart on the TV. Behind the bar, owner Matt Bloch pours a Hadouken shot and ignites it. Good times are ready to be had at Space Station, one of Osaka, Japan’s newest gaming bars.
The bar’s interior is full of gaming culture. Multicolored lighting was installed to resemble the dark neon lit interiors of classic 1980’s American video game arcades. The bar itself is shaped and painted like the jagged Famicom Pulse and two mirrors have been painted to resemble the iconic orange and blue portals from the well-known puzzle game.
The bar owns a plethora of systems, ranging from the original Famicom to the Playstation 3. More popular games for new and old systems are always within reach, while lesser played games are stored in the back of the bar.
“It is definitely a quality over quantity thing going on,” says Bloch.
He also says that he enjoys making game recommendations to customers in hopes to turn them on to new games as well. Popular games are often retro titles, including Puyo Puyo, Bomberman, Super Smash Bros, Super Mario Bros, and Mario Kart. Newer popular titles include games like Limbo and Minna No Rhythm Tengoku.
While other gaming bars in the area have cover charges for entry or play time, Space Station offers free game play.
“Since I wanted to make Space Station the kind of bar that I would want to frequent as a customer, I tried to make a video game bar without an entry charge. So far it has been working out fine,” said Bloch. “I feel the video game bars in Japan are completely justified in having a cover charge… but I myself couldn’t do it.”
If you’re in the area and looking for a fun night full of drinks and games, check out Space Station. More information and pictures can be found on the bar’s Facebook page.