The Circuit ‘Barcade’ – Opening Night

Scott’s Addition, Richmond, Va.

W. Leigh street would have been a dark corridor without The Circuit Arcade Bar’s lights, which lit up a whole block of Scott’s Addition Thursday night. First-time patrons buzzed in a line that protruded from the entrance to the lot. No surprise there when you get a chance to frolic in a gym-sized virtual playground.

Guitar Hero with the speaker system and guitar controllers? They have that. Side-scrolling brawler classics like The Simpsons or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Yep. Nostalgic first-person shooters? They have your Police Trainer and Time Crisis 3. Oldschool classics? They have Galaga. They have Mrs. Pacman. Below one of the many full color nerdtastic paintings – in this case R2D2 wearing a tuxedo – are also a row of pinball machines.

Get this – the way you get your drink on is just as nerdy as the art and the arcade.

There’s a computerized self-serve ‘beer wall’ with 60 craft beers, ciders, and wines on tap. 

You heard me.

You take your tap card and slide it onto a sensor located above your draft of choice. The tap card is an RFID – same technology as Metro train cards or key fab to get into an apartment. Once your card reads in you get charged by the oz. Then, like closing a tab in a bar, you bring your card over at the end of the night and close out. Oh, and you can’t over serve yourself – they limit how many ounces the card can pour based on the number of patrons using it.

Owner of The Circuit, Robert Lupica, said that the beer wall took the longest to complete for the business. Beer database Untappd fed brand data into the monitors but otherwise the card serving system and user interface is proprietary. Personally I have never seen anything like it.

Robert asked us how long we’d been waiting in line. We said just only a little over 5 minutes, maybe 8 – not long at all. Even though we were about to check-in he insisted on giving us a cup of game tokens and thanked us for being there. Robert is no less than invested in making sure his peeps were happy.

Beer and gaming nerds alike, you can’t miss this.

Here’s The Circuit’s website. More on Circuit’s opening night per the Richmond Times.