Up-Down arcade bar could be coming to old Comedy Cafe space on E. Brady St.

Posted: 12:18 PM, Aug 24, 2017
Updated: 2017-08-25 15:02:52-04

MILWAUKEE -- The people behind the growing 'Up-Down' chain of arcade bars has applied to open a location in Milwaukee.

Up-Down features "more than 50 arcade games from the ‘80s and ‘90s, pinball machines, four classic skee-ball alleys, Nintendo 64 console gaming, life-size jenga and connect four," according to its website.

Co-owner Joshua Ivey and his partners applied Wednesday for a Class B Tavern license as well as a Public Entertainment Premises license for the old Comedy Cafe property at 615 E. Brady St. The location has been vacant since Comedy Cafe moved to N. Water St. in 2015.

Ivey and his partners started the Up-Down concept in Des Moines, and have since expanded to locations in Minneapolis and Kansas City. 

The filed license application shows the Milwaukee location would feature the normal lineup of arcade games, as well as a bar and restaurant with both indoor and outdoor space. Ivey hopes to open the space in February of 2018, with renovation work beginning this fall.

"Our drink menu includes an extensive craft beer selection with over 60 beers on tap and even more bottles and cans, as well as house-made pizza by the slice with unique toppings," the website says.

All games cost just 25 cents. The city's Licenses Committee's next scheduled meeting is September 12.

While Up-Down may be Milwaukee's first full-fledged "arcade bar," other spots in the area have staked their claim on the gamer audience as well. Downtown's 42 Lounge offers playable tabletop and console games, while 8 Bit in Kenosha has already been running with the barcade concept