If you’re a video game enthusiast or just remember the old days of penny arcades and Pac-Man and Pinball machines, you will love Ground Kontrol. It is one of those places anyone visiting Portland should check out. It’s centrally located downtown within walking distance of most other attractions and they have cheap beer(sometimes).
Ground Kontrol Information
Address: 511 NW Couch St, Portland, OR 97209
Phone: (503) 796-9364
Hours: Open 12:00 PM – 2:30 AM
Age Limit: All ages till 5pm then 21+ after. It is a full bar!
Best Nights: Weekends of course but also Free Play 2nd Thursdays & Last Wednesdays. 5pm-close. $5 at door
Events: Special nights, tournaments, comedy night, free play nights, trivia nights, music, DJ’s, more.
Beers: Like $6 friggen dollars! But a normal $3 for Happy Hour 5pm-7pm.
What kind of games will you find here? Almost every arcade game I ever loved growing up.
Everything from 4 person Pac-Man to Street Fighter, Killer-Queen, Paperboy, lots of Pinball Machines, shooters and so much more. I think the only games that I wanted and could not find were Double Dragon and Bad Dudes.
Ground Kontrol Expansion
Ground Kontrol originally opened in 1999 but was bought by new owners in 2003 and moved to its current location in 2004 and was remodeled in 2011. But here we are in the year 2016 and they have acquired the Backspace Café behind them and plan on doubling their space to 4,000 square-feet. There will be a hallway connecting the 2 spaces for double the room!
- Ground Kontrol has over 90 games and pinball machines
- Some games are as old as 35 years old
- The owners maintain and repair the games themselves
- There was a 2nd location that only lasted a year
- The original location was on SW 12th and they moved to the current Couch location in 2004
- 2 of the owners are Electrical Engineers
- The other 2 are software tech types
My honest opinion?
I am a gamer so I can not recommend hanging out here. The drinks are over priced for one so I’d rather go to a bar to drink but again, I am a gamer. I love my XBOX One and my Gaming Computer that I built. The arcade games are novel for sure but nothing a serious gamer would spend much time on.
It is also small, hot, sticky and crowded. But with the expansion that could all change. And you may end up waiting in a line to get in here. Not worth it.
If you’re on a date and there is no line, it’s worth a shot if he / she likes games. If you’re from out of town, for sure stop in at least one night. But as a regular I can not see myself frequenting this place.
If you do, great! Lets u know below what you love about Ground Kontrol and why others should come here more often(or not).