BREAKING NEWS: Ground Kontrol Arcade Announces Major Downtown Expansion

The arcade and lounge will double in size, taking over the former Backspace Cafe and adding a custom bar.

By Marty Patail February 17, 2016

Ground kontrol exterior   night   photo credit   charles marshall olson nnbgew

Big, big news for gamers. And drinkers, for that matter.

Beloved Old Town hangout Ground Kontrol has plans for a major, 4,000-square-foot expansion, which will double its current size. 

The old-school arcade and lounge, which first touched down in 1999, will take over the former Backspace Café around the corner on NW 5th Avenue. The two spaces will be connected via a short hallway in the back, and patrons will be able to enter from both sides. 

The new area will house an expanded concrete and steel bar, with a dozen high tech, super-cooled taps and built-in video displays, along with a retail area selling merchandise and classic console games arcade and pinball machines. 

The owners expect to move certain games and pinball machines from the overcrowded NW Couch building, and acquire at least three gigantic new games that they previously didn't have space for: the two-player flight simulator Star Wars Battle Pod, a new shooter called Aliens Armageddon, and a 90's driving simulator called Lucky & Wild, where one player drives while the other shoots. 

According to Ground Kontrol's Art Santana, the project has been in the works for at least two years. Construction will begin in the next couple weeks, with an expected opening in summer 2016. 

Ground Kontrol made the surprise announcement on February 17, at a special event at its current space. To follow updates on construction, visit​

Ground kontrol expansion bar  1  g2zrnj

A rendering of the new bar inside the old Backspace Café

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