At a private event last night, April 11, Ground Kontrol unveiled its long-awaited expansion in the former Backspace Café. And if you like the old (temporarily closed) Ground Kontrol, you'll love this one. It opens to the public today, April 12, at 5 p.m.

The effect is similar to walking into a spaceship or a supervillain's arctic lair: shiny steel-gray walls divide the space into drinking nooks and roomy play areas while orange and red LED lighting provide the only illumination. The old Ground Kontrol merely dabbled with this theme; the new space is total sci-fi immersion. A full island bar with 12 taps sits near the center of the main room, across from a gigantic video screen ominously displaying '80s-style digital maps, as if someone is about to start a countdown to the firing of a death ray. And, of course, the main attraction: bleeping, blooping arcade machines everywhere.

Alongside house cocktails and beer standbys like Boneyard RPM and Laurelwood's Free Range Red, the draft list includes a few harder to brews like Suicide Squeeze from Astoria-based Fort George and Mango Daze from Bend-based Silver Moon. The food menu is the same as in the old space: arcade-appropriate, with nachos, dogs, and sandwiches.

It's an ambitious, expensive shrine to wholesome fun, and we approve.

According to the official announcement, the new space will be connected to the old one at 511 NW Couch with a short hallway later this summer. Until then, the arcade will operate out of the new space while the old one gets a facelift of its own.

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