Annual Manual » Nightlife & Bars

So, You Want To... Play Games

Whether your game is pool, darts or Super Mario Bros, the Spokane area has a place for you

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Scott Mailhean takes aim at Gamers Arcade Bar. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Scott Mailhean takes aim at Gamers Arcade Bar.

POOL

7th Rail

Beginners, experts, amateurs and sharks alike, look no further — the 7th Rail, just off North Maple Street, is a pool player's paradise. The bar boasts seven top-of-the-line Diamond brand tables, all acquired two years ago from Vegas after having been used in professional tournament play. Different tables cater to different levels of competition: sharpshooters can break against other experts, while novices can dip their toes in the All Players' Pool League. Once you're ready to put your skills to the test, $7 will get you a spot in the weekly Friday night tournament, offering cash prizes. 1911 N. Maple St., Spokane • 325-7751

Black Diamond

The Black Diamond provides another location for beginning and experienced pool players alike to meet, drink and compete. The bar hosts professional pool and darts league competition, and newcomers can take advantage of the dart boards, shuffleboards and 17 pool tables for a small fee. Put your money where your mouth is at their annual Labor Day tournament, where up to 128 players battle for a sizeable cash pot. All ages are welcome until 9 pm, and weekend patrons can enjoy the services of a live DJ. 9614 E. Sprague Ave., Spokane Valley • 891-8357

BEER PONG

Hillyard Library Sports Bar

If you're looking for cheap, top-quality beer, but just can't decide what to do for entertainment, the Hillyard Library Sports Bar can resolve your indecision — do it all! The Library, located in northeastern Spokane, offers every bar game imaginable, and more. Play Jenga, darts, pool, beer pong and even virtual golf while enjoying craft beers like the ever-popular Elysium Space Dust for only $4.50 during Happy Hour. Win prizes at weekly tournaments and event nights, catch a game, listen to live music every Wednesday, relax on the beautiful patio or order a shot of Fireball to be entered in a nightly drawing — all this and you don't even need a library card! 2936 E. Olympic Ave., Spokane • 464-9334

ARCADE GAMES

Garageland

Previously a record store, the new owners of Garageland have converted the downtown bar and lounge's third room into a veritable museum of old-school arcade. Classics like Dig-Dug, Space Invaders and Ms. Pac-Man stand beside legendary fighters such as Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat and Tekken. All ages are welcome (except on busy weekend nights) to spend a few quarters and take in Garageland's unique blend of cozy comfort and off-the-wall design. Although the bar hasn't hosted a tournament or event night taking advantage of their arcade games, co-owner Ian Miles says that the idea has been thrown around, so if you've been waiting to monetize the countless hours you spent as a kid on the joysticks, keep your ears open! 230 W. Riverside Ave., Spokane • 315-8324

Gamers Arcade Bar

Patrons of Gamers Arcade Bar, right next door to the Spokane Comedy Club, have almost too many options. If you don't spend all your quarters on Star Wars, Ghost Busters and Guardians of the Galaxy pinball machines, you can enjoy classic arcade games like Power Putt, Galaga and Big Buck Hunter – that is, if you haven't already settled in to take a spin on the SNES at one end of the bar, or braved the Deadpool, a popular Long Island Iced Tea-esque concoction that makes you feel invulnerable. And if, somehow, none of these digital delights catch your fancy, just try again next week – Gamers' array of cabinets is always evolving according to popularity and customer requests. Superhero fans, make sure to turn out for their gaming tournaments, where prizes offered include gift cards to local comic book stores. 321 W. Sprague Ave., Spokane • 381-5131

TABLETOP GAMES

GeeksNGlory

These days, it's cool to be a nerd — and no place is more proud of that fact than the Valley's own GeeksNGlory. Play one of their over 20,000 video games, blast some tunes (without dropping quarters into a jukebox), participate in a cosplay contest or order themed cocktails such as the Battletoads, the Mario Sunshine and the Nuka-Cola. Every Sunday is devoted to Dungeons and Dragons, and co-owner Marty Russell says that it's a very newbie-friendly environment: beginners can learn the game from one of GeeksNGlory's house dungeon masters. The bar also hopes to expand into other tabletop games such as Warhammer 40K. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for events, tournaments and tabletop news. 6710 E. Sprague Ave., Spokane Valley • 443-4064

PUZZLES

The Checkerboard Bar

The Checkerboard Bar is in the middle of a makeover. Owner Ashley May intends to provide patrons with an authentic post-Prohibition-era bar-going experience, complete with period-appropriate drinks, entertainment and décor – and on top of all that, a weekly burlesque show is in the works. Enjoy checkers, giant chess in the outdoor area, old-school pinball machines, and the metal blacksmith's puzzles that used to stump your grandparents. You won't want to miss this blast from the past! 1716 E. Sprague Ave., Spokane • 535-4007

The original print version of this article was headlined "So, You Want To... PLAY GAMES"