Drink This: Bishop Cidercade
I’m not a big fan of nostalgia. It might be blasphemy for a ’90s kid, but I have no time for Crazy Bones, AIM or Razor scooters. Don’t look back at ’em, because they were not good. Don’t talk to me about “Salute Your Shorts.” (Dunkaroos, however, were fine and should be brought back immediately.) After all, nostalgia is a disease.
But put me in front of an old arcade and I become an enormous hypocrite. There’s an immediate rush back to hours spent at places that don’t exist anymore: Slider & Blues on Hillcrest and Northwest Highway, EZ’s next door to it, Balls Hamburgers in Snider Plaza. I think of the quarters begged out of my parents, the manic energy of a half-dozen third-graders, still in their soccer uniforms, screaming around a Cruisin’ USA console. I think of birthday parties at Chuck E. Cheese’s and Scotty’s as Donatello or Michaelangelo with three other teenage mutant ninja turtles taking on waves of the Foot Clan.
That’s why when I’m at Bishop Cidercade, I am 9 years old again. It’s a concept that existed in half-steps before Bishop Cider Company opened a full-fledged arcade with more than 150 games. Kung Fu Saloon in Uptown and Barcadia on Henderson both implement arcade games throughout their bars, but they are ultimately places that will push the games aside when things get busy.
At Cidercade, you are there to 1) play the games of your youth and 2) drink cider, in that order. Not that drinking cider should be ignored entirely. The hard cider movement took off in the wake of the craft beer explosion but it’s definitely having a moment in Dallas — in large part because of Bishop Cider Co.’s committment to creating as many varieties as possible.
“I don’t like the taste of cider,” doesn’t hold any water when there are two dozen taps at Cidercade. With flavors like Apple Pineapple, Vanilla Bourbon and Mango Habanero, you can hit diversity in every pour.
From Fighters’ Row and dozens of pinball machiens to four-person Pac-Man and Mario Kart GP, your taste in games is equally likely to be satisfied. Want to kick it old school on Galaga? You can do that. Interested in seeing if you still remember your combos in Marvel vs Capcom? Pick your three and get to it.
If it seems like I’m overly effusive despite my early and hard stance against nostalgia, I think that there’s a difference in what the Cidercade provides compared to a BuzzFeed article that only ’90s kids will remember: You are actively comparing yourself to your past self.
We prefer to consider that we’ve grown — that our reflexes and decision making get better. If we could go back to third-grade soccer, we’d be so much better. But we can’t go back to that. What we can do is grab three friends and see how far we can get as the X-Men. Can we get past Juggernaut this time? Let’s find out.
If there’s a good amount of cider around and no need to ration quarters — all games are free to play — then even better.