The Quarters Bar

The+Quarters+Bar

by Kristina Kulyabina

‘GAME OVER’ flashes repeatedly on the screen of The Simpsons arcade cabinet as a young boy continues to move his controllers back and forth for minutes. To his left stands a change machine that dispenses quarters for dollar bills and a credit card swipe of up to $10. For just another quarter, the boy can take another shot at the game, or move onto the next one.

The Quarters in Hadley, Mass, which officially opened on January 10, offers over 20 vintage arcade video games as well as bar and food service. Owners George Meyers and Greg Stutsman talked about capturing their childhood in a business for years. Just a little over a month since opening, Meyers’ and Stutsman’s idea has proved successful as crowds of people of all ages hover over their carefully curated machines.

The Atmosphere

The room emanates a bluish-gray color as the right side wall illustrates Pac-Man eating Pac-Dots and ghosts. Its hardwood floors stage red, yellow, and green plastic bar stools. Shelves line above the windows holding old school board games, Pokémon stuffed animals, and action figures. The Quarters is a video game in itself. Even the food and drink menus display items in a digital pixel-like font.

Jess Fiano drives from Springfield every weekend with her boyfriend Tommy Benson to play their favorite games of Adams Family Pinball, Marvel vs. Capcom, and The Simpsons.

“This place is perfect for us. Video games, beer, music and food is a great combination,” says Fiano. “We actually spent our one year anniversary here the other weekend.”

Benson says he’s been in a high score rivalry over the game 1943: The Battle of Midway which he has played since he was six-years old. “It’s going to take a lot of beers and hot dogs to beat the other guy,” he says as he munches on a basket of french fries.

The Food

Some of the most popular food items at The Quarters include the Banh Mi Pup and the classic NY Pup as well as the mini $2 hot dogs and the french fries, handmade from Hadley-grown potatoes. Add the addictive Sriracha mayonnaise for an extra $1 or truffle mayonnaise for $3.

Once the bartender places your order through an iPad based POS system, it takes about ten minutes before the cook calls your name for you to pick up your food at the bar.

The Uniqueness

One of the unique twists to the menu is that customers can turn any pup into a vegan delicacy for two more quarters. The vegan Banh Mi Pup is grain-based (not soy) mixed with potato, apple and sage, topped with pickled carrot and daikon, fresh cilantro and sriracha mayo.

Another big hit is the lavender-infused vodka lemonade. Mixed with Titos Vodka, the cocktail is made in house and stored in a keg along with three other cocktails all served on tap. Draft beers include BBC Steel Rail, Allagash White, and Jack’s Abby Hoponius Union to name a few. All beverages are served in mason jars to add to the vintage feel.

Bartender John Moloney has worked in bars all over New York and Boston and says that The Quarters is the best place he has ever worked.

“There is something in here for everyone,” says Moloney as he slices lime for cocktail garnish. “We have a guy that comes in here every-day and plays Dig Dug so he can get the high score.”

The high scores are displayed for each game on a flat screen TV hanging above the beer tap which is lined with Pac-Man shot glasses. On Friday and Saturday nights, The Quarters turns into a 21+ venue after 9 p.m.

This summer, the restaurant will open a takeout window allowing passerby on the Norwottuck Rail Trail, just a few steps away, to stop by for a quick bite or drink.

The Quarters is located on 8 Railroad Street, Hadley MA behind The Donut Man and right off of Route 9 near the Route 47 intersection. For more information on The Quarters, visit hadleyquarters.com.

Kristina Kulyabina can be reached at [email protected]

 

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