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Read all about my recent visit to The Boxcar Bar and Arcade, downtown Durham’s spot for Cocktails, Pizza, and Arcade Fun!
It’s an exciting time to be living in Durham. My adopted hometown is going through a bit of a gentrification process at the moment. Old buildings are being revitalized with new and exciting businesses. Last month Derek and I were able to check out one of the recent additions, The Boxcar Bar and Arcade.
The hubs is a total gamer. He loves video games, pinball, and whatever else an arcade has to offer. Although I never really got into most of the games at the arcade when I was a kid, I definitely loved playing skee ball whenever the occasion would arise.
When Derek heard about this place a couple of months ago I knew he was dying to go. I’m always open to the new and improved in Durham. We finally made the time to visit on the last Sunday of August and my only regret is that we hadn’t made the time to visit sooner!
The first Boxcar Arcade opened about five years ago in downtown Raleigh, a couple of years later a second location opened in Greensboro. This past year they finally opened a location in Durham and I have to say that it’s pretty amazing! The Durham location is the first to include food. They offer delicious wood-fired pizzas from traditional to combinations on the creative side like pickle pizza!
What really makes Boxcar Durham stand out is its location. It overlooks the Historic Durham Athletic Park. Before the Durham Bulls moved to their current location in the American Tobacco District, the bulls called this ballpark home. It is also where scenes from one of my favorite baseball movies was filmed, Bull Durham. It is now North Carolina Central University’s home field and you never know when you might catch a game or practice session. You get an amazing view from inside the arcade and out on their patio!
When you arrive at the Boxcar the first thing you will have to do is show your ID. This is because the arcade is 21 and up! The only time minors are allowed is before 9pm and only under the supervision of an adult. Since we were there on a Sunday afternoon there were some kids and even a birthday party or two but let me just say that these kids were perfectly well behaved!
We arrived just after opening and went ahead and put in an order for pizza. We were given a pager and then headed directly for the bar. The Boxcar has some pretty awesome bar specials. I was excited to check out their Sunday Mimosa menu! Mimosas are $1 and Bellinis are $1.50 for singles. I tried the Pinwheel which was champagne mixed with pineapple nectar. Yum! Derek enjoyed their $5 draft special on one of his favorite beers, Fat Tire. They also offer $10 bottles of champagne on Sundays.
We proceeded to the outdoor patio to enjoy our drinks and wait for our pizza to be ready. It was an unseasonably cool summer day with highs in the 70s and I was enjoying every minute of it! We were also able to watch baseball practice from our picnic table. Our Philly Cheesesteak Pizza was ready after a while. It was pretty tasty but I felt like it needed to cook a little bit longer. The veggies were still pretty raw and the crust wasn’t fully cooked on the bottom. Although disappointing not a deal
After lunch, we headed inside for a second round of drinks and some tokens. Token machines accept cash and credit. We went ahead and bought $20 worth of tokens which is a total of 80 tokens. That can actually go a long way depending on what you play. A played a few rounds of skee ball, which are two tokens per game before joining Derek over by the video games.
He was just finishing up a round of Double Dragon before we headed over to the Simpsons game. I thought I would try it out since it was a multi-player game and only involved two buttons. It was actually a lot of fun and I couldn’t believe it but we won the game! I actually won my first video game! A few games and a couple of bar rounds later we ended the day with some skee ball and I totally whooped Derek’s butt!
In my opinion, we had a very budget-friendly day date. Our bar bill was only $26! We each had four rounds of drinks! Our pizza was $12 and tokens were $20 bringing us in at just under $60! We can easily spend that on a meal and a movie!
A Few Things to Know:
There is no parking, so you’ll have to pay to park or find some available street parking.
Boxcar has coolers of water available to patrons throughout the building and free, fresh popcorn to snack on while gaming.
Don’t worry about where to store your drinks while playing your game because each game has a drink holder.
There are plenty of ways to stretch your budget and still have a good time. Pizzas are half off from 4-7pm on Sundays through Tuesdays. There are also plenty of free games, too! On the patio
The Boxcar does hold tournaments so check out their website for future events and their daily drink specials.
I really enjoyed our time at The Boxcar Bar and Arcade. I’m looking forward to returning in the near future once the weather cools a bit and I can enjoy that outdoor patio space some more!
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