153 Essex St (between Stanton & Rivington)
New York, NY 10002
Bathroom situation - just one in the back around the corner. It’s spacious and secluded enough to fuck your fuck on up in there, but some of the graf on the walls could prove to be a little distracting (see above). So, we’re saying all that to say this: make sure you get yourself molly’d up beforehand just in case.
Takes credit cards? - nope! Not yet, anyway - this place is still that new shit, so they only have one of those gougey ATMs for the time being. Helpfully, given that this is an arcade, they do have one of those change machines for quarters. Unhelpfully, as of this writing, it’s broken. Helpfully, however, the register at the bar is prepared and replete. Unhelpfully, it won't matter how many quarters you have, Visceralist will still eat your breakfast, lunch, dinner and that ill-advised Hot Pocket you had 30 minutes before bed on any one of these games. Bet.
Crowded on weekends? - not yet, but soon. The selection of games here, though more modest, is better than at their presumptive rival Barcade. See, cuz Barcade’s like “Oh, arcade games made after 1989 are sellouts...psh, don’t even...” Whereas, Two Bit’s all, “Yo, fuck all that. Do the people wanna play Street Fighter? Do the people wanna play classic beat-em-ups like Final Fight? Yes? Do the people wanna shoot at the screen with fake plastic guns? Yes? Then get that shit!”
Seating - a few stools at the bar and a couple tables in the back. No stools in front of the games tho which, while likely a practical necessity, is kind of a drag. Some of us have sore lower backs from getting molly’d up and fucking while standing up all week long. Just a thought that we want in your head.
Neighborhood - right next door to the recently shuttered LES comedy club The Laugh Lounge (RIP 2012). This part of Essex St. (in addition to the block between Stanton and Houston) oddly doesn’t get much attention, but perhaps now the siren call of Blanka’s victory howl will change all that.
Pretentious/assholes - both times we’ve been here, we’ve sorta wanted to get into a Street Fighter II tournament where dudes are putting quarters up against the screen to call next and all that shit. Hasn’t happened yet, but soon.
Cost of Stella - not raising its hand when its name is called, unfortunately.
What time people start showing up - so, that’s not in fact a misplaced apostrophe you’re seeing in the title of this post. This retro arcade apparently belongs to some fella named Two Bit. Perhaps we’re being overly nitpicky, but something about that just seems off.
Bartender efficiency - only 1 bartender working, but never got to to the point where, sorry, but they really do have to ignore you because it’s just too hectic. We here at Visceralist sympathize, reality.
Official Website - here. Currently just a typical “Coming Soon” placeholder with a .jpg of their logo (which doesn’t feature the infamous apostrophe...hmmm...)
Food? How late - pizza slices of dubious origin. Like Gatsby!
TVs? What's on - 1 flatscreen behind the bar and 1 large projector screen against the rear wall - onto which they project shit the likes of which probably inspired Django Unchained.
Guy:girl ratio - we here at Visceralist HQ just recently got into this old reality show Geek Love, episodes which are available on YouTube. Its framing is a bit meaner than we usually tolerate, but it’s still a treat that can’t be beat.
Toys - oh, in addition to the stools, it would be great if they had a hand-sanitzer-dispenser somewhere off in this bitch. Cuz, especially considering the age of these cabinets, more sweaty hands been on them joysticks than...
Age of clientele - old enough to remember a time when you could actually get something for a quarter. Which, btw, if we can be as didactic as possible: this place is good because every game only costs a quarter.
Space for dancing? - probably enough room to do a little victory shimmy after you’ve roasted that dude who picked Dhalsim like it was good.
Music medium, style & volume - ok, let’s just get this out of the way, the Django Unchained soundtrack is the fucking best since Drive.
Specials or most popular drink - Visceralist is known to serve up a tall glass of that #beatemdown to all comers on them Street Fighter sticks. Pop a molly and put your quarters up, beeeeiiitch!