Sam Summers, Josh Ivey and Rafe Mateer
Wooly’s owners opening Up-Down ‘barcade’ in East Village
Published on September 20th, 2013 | by Joe Lawler
Sam Summers, Josh Ivey and Rafe Mateer, owners of the East Village music venue Wooly’s, are going retro with their next bar, Up-Down. The new business will be a “barcade” featuring arcade video games from the 80s and 90s. Up-Down is expected to open in October at 500 E. Locust St., the space formerly occupied by The Underground.
“It’s something that encompasses being youthful and being an adult,” Summers said of the concept. “Having the games around plays into the nostalgia factor and mixing that with things we like doing now plays into an interesting concept.”
Summers, Ivey and Mateer have put together a collection of around 45 arcade games using Craiglist and other sources. Summers mentioned “The Simpsons,” “NBA Jam,” “Pac-Man,” “Mortal Kombat,” “Street Fighter II” and others. The bar will also have pinball machines and full-size skee ball lanes. All games will be 25 cents each to play.
The owners are currently renovating the space. When it opens they will have removed several walls, giving Up-Down more space than The Underground had, as well as putting in an entirely new bar with access on all four sides. The walls will feature 80s/90s decor and the bar will have 20 beers on tap. Retro-inspired cocktails are also in the works.
Up-Down will also have an improved sound system, but Summers said they haven’t given much thought yet to live music or DJs. There are plans for video game tournaments.
Summers said the plan is to try to capture the feel of hanging out at the house of a childhood friend with a cool basement.
“We’re trying to get all the fun things we enjoyed in our childhood,” Summers said.