Omnivore - Joystick Gamebar is an arcade for grown-ups

Old Fourth Ward’s newest place to play


  • foursquare
  • Inside Joystick Gamebar

Joystick Gamebar (427 Edgewood Ave.) is officially open, and drew a decent crowd for a Tuesday night. Clusters of old school arcade games are flanked by handy high- top tables on which to set your drink during intense joysticking. Tasty cocktails scrawled on a chalkboard are accompanied by their taste profiles rather than a list of ingredients, a style that speaks more to what a drink will feel like. The 4th and Sand is a screaming red coupe of pisco, Rothman & Winter Orchard Cherry, hibiscus syrup, and lemon. Although I’ve never actually experienced spiked punch at a high school dance, I’m sure this is what it would taste like if the hooligan who did the spiking was into good booze.

Bar bites (courtesy of consulting chef Mark Nanna), are brimming with fun and childhood nostalgia — much like everything else at Joystick. An Asian-style steamed bun is topped with Kool-aid cured pork belly (cherry flavored, I asked!), pickled peaches, red cabbage, and a spicy sweet barbecue sauce. Eat it with a fork and knife, and enjoy each bite of pork with pickled peach aka the best pickled fruit known to man. The Redneck Poutine (steak fries, sausage gravy, Chihuahua cheese, bacon) is an oozy, shameless celebration of not-at-all-figure-friendly goodness.

Joystick is a little short on signage, so it might be a little tricky to find at first. It’s located in the space that was once the now shuttered Dynamic Dish. If that info doesn’t help, just head west on Edgewood Ave. from Boulevard. Joystick Gamebar is directly across the street from Southern Stamp & Stencil Co. If you hit Jackson St., you’ve gone too far.

Oh, and don’t forget your quarters! But if you do, they’ve got a change machine on site, so game on.