Updated: More photos of the 1Up have been added to the end of this post.
About a year ago, Jourdan Adler started a quest to collect vintage games. Now he's got close to thirty original uprights, from Galaga to Pacman to Donkey Kong, and they're all from 1985 and earlier, including five to eight cocktail table-style video games.
And during the past year, Adler's been getting them restored and back to arcade condition. It's all been part of his plan to open up vintage arcade, bar and restaurant, which isn't an entirely new concept (there's Barcade in New York and Barcadia in Texas), but Adler says there's nothing like it in Denver. So he took over the former Blues on Blake space at 1925 Blake Street, which has been closed for a little over a year, and turned the space into The 1Up arcade, bar and restaurant, which opened today, softly, in order to be going full steam ahead by opening day.
"I think the concept is going to be a breath of fresh air for downtown," Adler says. "I think it's going to be completely different that nobody's tried yet here."
Named after green mushroom in Mario Brothers, when you get the free guy -- or when player one is up at the start of a video game -- The 1Up will also have two lanes of Skee-Ball and eight pinball machines spread around the 5,400 square-foot spot, along with the arcade games. There's also display case full vintage home game consoles, like Atari 2600, Bally Astrocade, Intellivision and CalecoVision -- all made between 1977 and 1983 and in mint condition and in original boxes.
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In addition to wrapping the place in video games, Adler's also blowing up and hanging some vintage fliers that were sent to arcade owners in '80s. He's also recruited Mike Ortiz and Jonathan Lamb of Like Minded Productions to style out the bathrooms with vintage arcade art and have Jason Garcia, one of the live painters with STS9, repaint the mural behind the stage area.
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Adler says the 1Up will offer a full menu serve upscale twists on bar food, including a quarter pound bacon cheeseburger on a glazed donut.
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