Just last Saturday, a new and very different business for Ambergris Caye, hosted an opening party. Level Up Barcade – an arcade with a bar and snacks bringing totally new games and activities to Belize but for some of us? It’s a total blast from the past…a flashback to the 80s…and my bad hair that would not feather no matter how hard I tried, braces, Guess jeans, awesome music, and rainbow everything.
For me…born in 1973, the 80s were the sweet spot of nostalgia – the music? The best. The movies? The very best. My gawky teenaged looks and self-confidence? Not so much.
This new business embraces it for our generation and introduces it to a new one. Those who see something like a floppy disk and are totally clueless.
Look at this FUN drink list. I’ll take the Nakatomi Tower : A tall tequila drink that is literally smoking!
Level Up Barcade is located south of town in the Mahogany Bay area. A big and ever-growing area set away from the ocean, back in the inner lagoons, behind these large front gates.
Head up the long driveway and you will turn right and the Barcade is right there.
“Level up” is a videogame term – who knew? Here’s the definition from the UrbanDictionary.
Level Up: When a player of a videogame has earned enough experience points to acquire a new level in a skill or skills. Often is accompanied by the ability to wield new weaponry, access new places, or begin new assignments.
Use it in a sentence: “Only 3k more experience points until I level up!”
Let’s look inside. The owner, Reuben, is from the states and collected a whole bunch of cool memorabilia and 80s and 90s games and….as he said “until my garage in Denver was full”. And then…he shipped it down to Belize.
Albums and stickers, figurines, Gameboys and old Atari games…
You could REALLY go down a rabbit hole with 80s memorabilia.
Frogger and Donkey Kong and Centipede -so many classics!
Taking me right back to the roller rinks and Chuckee Cheese birthday parties!
Tokens and floppy disk coasters!
They were getting ready to open but Reuben showed us around.
And then upstairs is for adults only.
Another bar in the corner…and then all the good stuff. Like SKEEBALL! Oh Jersey shore, Point Pleasant boardwalk memories.
Except that machine spit out tickets that you could redeem for junky toys and jewelry. It would cost maybe $25US for enough tickets for an eraser or a fake gold medallion. Sigh…good times.
Skeeball is on the right.
A poker table…
And different games. I don’t remember this shooting things game….
And then a serious golfing set up for those missing golf…
And then maybe my favorite thing – there are these funny bathroom 80s people – so that you can take bathroom mirror selfies with them.
I NEVER post pics of myself – or even take them – but for this guy? I make an exception.
And…you can rent the top floor for parties – to live out your 80s fantasies…ask out that cute girl in the lavender leg warmers that you WISH you asked out in 1987 or…just for a really fun, new way to celebrate anything in San Pedro.
I love it! And I wish Rueben and his crew a ton of success.
For information on Level Up Barcade – check out their great website or Facebook page and…get over there and buy some tokens and nachos and waste the night away trying to get your three initials on the High Score board on Frogger.
Just this song puts me right back to our den in New Jersey sitting on the plaid carpet eating Tasty Cakes.