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Arcade Spotlight: Ground Kontrol in Portland, Oregon

Ground Kontrol
Photo: Portland Mercury News

Our Arcade Spotlight feature continues, and this time we’re heading to the Pacific Northwest to visit Ground Kontrol, one of the best arcades in the country!

Ground Kontrol opened in 1999, and while it struggled for quite a few years just to break even, it eventually managed to become one of the premiere arcade locations in the country. I’ve personally visited Ground Kontrol many times in my trips to Oregon and it’s always a go-to spot.

Ground Kontrol is broken up into two levels — downstairs features the arcade games and bar, while the upstairs houses all of their pinball machines and a few more arcade classics. They have a TON of games in this space, and it’s a blast going in and drinking beers while trying to beat Sunset Riders.

The downstairs features over 90 classic arcade games. Everything from 1943 to Xevious is on display and ready to take your quarter. That’s right, no tokens here, folks. This arcade takes good old fashioned quarters. The placed is decked out really nice, especially after their recent remodel. They even have Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man themed bathrooms!

The upstairs houses over 25 of the best pinball machines you can find, including The Twilight Zone, Star Trek the Next Generation, Funhouse, The Shadow and more. Grab some food and a fine beer and play some games. Some nights they have Video Game Quiz Show nights, and Portland’s hottest DJ’s are always spinning. They also throw special events, like when Keith Apicary stopped by during his Apicarnage tour last year, or all you can play arcade nights! Don’t forget to grab one of their cool t-shirts on your way out.

Be sure to stop by the next time you’re in Portland. You won’t regret it!

Ground Kontrol Arcade

Ground Kontrol Pinball

Ground Kontrol Bar

Ground Kontrol Bathroom
Photo: Portland Mercury News
Ground Kontrol
Keith Apicary kicking my butt head-to-head. Next time, Apicary!

Ground Kontrol is located at:

511 NW Couch St.

Portland, OR 97209 Phone:

(503) 796-9364

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