Ground Kontrol Arcade - 1980s Nirvana!

Ground Kontrol arcade over here on 511 NW Couch is a retro game lover's dream.

I remember the salivating I did myself when I first discovered it...I walked in the door and was immediately swept back in time to my teen years by all the lights and sounds.


You're actually treated to pre-recorded arcade game beep, boops and chirps that are piped right outside, so you can hear them, loud and clear, as you walk by. It's like the smell of fresh-baked bread emanating from a bakery.

ground kontrol spy hunter

Mind you, Ground Kontrol does house arcade games and pinball machines from the 90s and up, but the draw for us children of the 70s and 80s will always be Pac-Man, Dig Dug and Galaxian.

The business consists of an upstairs and downstairs, with the pinball machines (the largest pinball game room in the NW) mostly on the top level. The lights inside are kept low to maintain that colorful arcade-type glow and feel that we all know and love.

The cool thing is that the Ground Kontrol arcade is not only a place to satisfy that covert geek side that you tend to keep in the closet, but they also have a complete bar for the 21+ crowd, host game and other special tournaments (DDR, Rock Band, and more), and bring in DJs to spin their own mixes of music. It's a jumpin' place!

Ground Kontrol hosts the Portland Retro Gaming Expo each year. Vendors, retro gaming merchandise galore, and tons of arcade and pinball machines. So much fun for the classic video game fan!

My personal favorite event is their Monthly Free-Play that happens on the last Wednesday and Second Thursday of each month, when they change over every machine for free-play and charge a measly $5 to get in the door. It reminds me a lot of the fun I had in years gone by at another arcade called Wunderland.

ground kontrol arcade

Now, as a geek myself, I realize what a hoot it is to surround yourself with 90+ of the best arcade games ever, but what happens to that sugar-like high when you have to call it a day and head home? Never fear....Ground Kontrol is here!

You can purchase classic gaming consoles and hand-helds from them, such as the NES, Game Boy, Sega Genesis and Atari 2600. Not only are the consoles available, but they have a huge collection of game cartridges and extra hardware to go with them. Remember R.O.B. for the NES? Yup, I've seen it there! I mean, can you really ever get enough retro-gaming stuff?

If you have a special event such as a birthday party, office party, or anything else, you can rent the place out and make it your own private party place. I'm thinking about hosting an upcoming Portland Tweet Up there. That would be a blast!

The Ground Kontrol arcade in Portland is open every day of the week from noon until the wee hour of 2:30am. It's located at 511 NW Couch St, Portland, OR. Just follow the arcade game sounds. ;)


pinball machines


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