There's nothing quite like smashing stainless steel balls against a plastic Death Star in a Star Wars pinball machine, whilst listening to Tears for Fears and drinking a $4 Virginia IPA. Welcome to Player's Club, an 80's (70's & 90's?) inspired arcade bar that recently opened up on 14th Street, where else.
I'll admit to being an 80's kid but I'm going to go out on a limb and say 80's Britain and America were not the same. I don't recall as much wood paneling, questionable leather, and rust orange carpet and wallpaper (although my first car was rust orange, thanks for the life lesson, dad) as did the owner's of Player's Club; the Hilton brothers, from such fine U Street establishments as Marvin and Brixton.
But here's the deal, Player's Club is a bar before anything else and that means no kids allowed, and for 14th Street it's quite a reasonable priced one at that. With 14oz draft pours ranging from $2-6, and $9 cocktails during weeknight happy-hour your arcade allowance will go far. There's no kitchen but you can order Shake Shack from the coat check which will be delivered to your table, it's all you really need, crinkle cut fries and Tetris.
I don't quite remember pinball machines being so complicated, I played all four on my recent visit and it was the basic one I enjoyed most - Aerosmith, not quite the rock stadium but there's music for everyone. For Iron Man the ball gets tuck behind something that looks a lot like a fidget spinner, the Star Wars machine doesn't take quarters, and Guardians of the Galaxy was all over the place, too many flashing lights. I'm old, I get it. I'll be back soon enough for Off Road and Mortal Kombat, with quarters in hand.
Player's Club: 1400 14th Street, NW Washington, DC (closest metro: McPherson Sq.)