It's been about a year since Don Behm bought his first used arcade game machine, the 1982 classic BurgerTime. His CraigsList find initially cost him $200. In fixing that game, Behm got hooked. He's since collected 18 arcade games.
There are the classics like Ms. Pac-Man, Q*bert, and Donkey Kong as well as perhaps not-so-well known games like Elevator Action, Bad Dudes vs. DragonNinja, and Moon Patrol. Behm is more than a hobbyist, though, and is looking to open Offworld Arcade, a bar that will feature his games. He's been searching for his ideal building in neighborhoods like Corktown and Hamtramck where he can serve beer and wine and feature the games he's restored. He's in no rush to find a space and doesn't mind taking the time to find just the right spot.
Until then, Behm and his Offworld Arcade
are calling St. Vincent home. It's an old Catholic school in Corktown, one that will eventually become a co-working space
. He'll be working out of St. Vincent for the next year, restoring his gaming machines and hosting an "arcade gallery" once a month.
On Saturday, Oct. 25, Behm threw the second of his arcade galleries, where visitors enjoyed an all-you-can-play pass, entry into a BurgerTime high score contest, music from DJs, and a live performance from Cotton Museum -- all for a mere five dollar donation. Offworld's galleries run from 6 p.m. to midnight and are open to the public
. From 6 to 9 p.m., Offworld Arcade is kid-friendly. 9 p.m. to midnight is saved for the adults.
To learn about future arcade galleries, follow Offworld Arcade on Facebook
"It's really cool to see parents and their sons and daughters come in and the kids just stare at these big games," says Behm. "You'll see kids come in and be amazed and say to their parents, 'I've never seen anything like this'."
Offworld Arcade is located in the St. Vincent building
at 2020 14th St.
Source: Don Behm, owner of Offworld Arcade
Writer: MJ Galbraith
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