In recent years, it's been game on in downtown Griffith with the addition of a juice bar, record shops and craft breweries.
But it's about to jump a level up with the addition of a barcade, a combination arcade and craft beer bar similar to what you'd find in Chicago's trendy North Side neighborhoods.
Patricia and Philip Sidener, who own the online retail company Giant Hoop, plan to open Twincade this summer at in the former Smith Paint and Supply storefront at 108 North Broad Street, by the corner of Broad and Main streets. Visitors will be able to try creative cocktails or 20 different types of craft beers, all sourced within a four-hour radius. They can play pinball, ski ball and play up to 40 retro arcade games, such as Pac Man, Duck Hunt, Mortal Kombat and Streetfighter II.
Games such as Dragon's Lair or Kid Niki: Radical Ninja will cost a quarter token to play, while ski ball will be 50 cents.
The original Barcade opened in Brooklyn's hip Williamsburg neighborhood more than a decade ago. Several barcades have opened in recent years in Chicago, including Emporium Arcade Bar, FTW, Headquarters Beercade, and Logan Arcade.
"People can just enjoy themselves and hang out and drink beer," Patricia Sidener said. "It's a hangout place."
Twincade will feature an assortment of vintage arcade games that will be familiar to anyone in their 30s or 40s, as well as couches with televisions where people can play Super Nintendo or other vintage video game consoles. A full-service restaurant will seat about 80 diners and be open to kids until 9 p.m., distinguishing it from the barcades in the city that cater more to single millennials.
The menu will include a fry bar with French fries with nacho-style toppings and around eight different types of empanadas, an often meat- or cheese-stuffed pastry that's popular in Spain and Latin America.
There will also be artisan-style personal pan-sized pizzas or flatbreads, such as with Polish sausage, carmelized onion, sauerkraut and Bechamel Sauce, or with jam, apple and brie.
"It's like dessert on bread," Patricia Sidener said. "There will be a lot of fun, different toppings. Everything will be shareable."
The Sideners scouted around Northwest Indiana for locations, but found many communities had outdated laws from the 1980s that restrict alcohol being served and arcade games from being located in the same establishment. The Griffith Redevelopment Commission however actively courted the business, and made sure it could mix craft beer with arcade games.
"They were very accommodating," she said. "Every other town had archaic laws, but they said, 'we want you guys here.'"
The Sideners hope Twincade will build on momentum downtown Griffith has achieved with businesses like Grindhouse Cafe, New Oberpfalz Brewing and Pokro Brewing.
"We've heard so many nice, positive things about Griffith," Patricia Sidener said. "It sounded super-cool."
Town Council President Rick Ryfa has said Griffith has worked to revitalize the downtown, such as with façade grants, since 2009, when many merchants were closing. He said the town has succeeded in creating an atmosphere that continues to draw more new businesses, such as Renovar Design and a charcuterie restaurant.
Philip Sidener, who started collecting the arcade games he played in his youth around a year ago, has been working to renovate the space and said they hope to have Twincade open by June.
Twincade, which will initially employ 10 to 15 workers, will be open from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. during weekdays, and until 3 a.m. on weekends. A hope is to attract some of the craft beer crowd later in the evening, since the town's craft breweries all close relatively early.
For more information or to keep up with the renovations, follow Twincade on Facebook or Instagram.