It took a little longer than Anne Ford and Matt Pancetti might have hoped. Last October when I announced we had arcade games on the way to Gay Street, they hoped to be up and running before Thanksgiving. That proved a little more ambitious than realistic, but after a few delays, the couple opens the doors today on Harrogate’s Lounge at Suttree’s at 409 S. Gay. From what I saw yesterday, the wait was worth it.
A few changes have been made between the announcement and the opening of the arcade/bar. The essentials are still there: A full bar serving up eight beer taps, mixed drinks and wine along with a room full of the finest arcade entertainment. Early hours will be open to all ages, so non-alcoholic beverages will also be available.
Original plans called for multiple pool tables, but that was trimmed to one pool table which allowed room for skee ball. One set is in place and another is on the way. Foosball has also been added, as well as three “driver” games that would not have found room with additional pool tables.
As planned, there are numerous other games. Six pinball games join 3 table games (including Donkey Kong) and thirteen stand-up arcade games. A portion of the space now holds an elevated platform with three beautiful inlaid strips of wood marking each of three dartboard lanes. The plywood behind them will be covered with pinboard and burlap bags from Three Bears Coffee.
The space has been beautifully built out by Brett Honeycutt acting as contractor and design consultant. Joined in the effort by McCarty Holsaple McCarty architects, the end result is a very attractive lounge. A highlight is the bar top which features a design first imagined by Stanton Webster and Brett. Comprised of play fields for video games, it will eventually be back-lighted giving the bar the appearance of live arcade games.
The sides of the bar are made from the cabinets of arcade games. Even the walnut strip around the edge of the bar has a story – it was reused from the Morelock counter top. Edison bulbs above the bar add to the cool look and a blown up 4’X6′ poster of Elton John in his role as “Tommy,” the pinball wizard. Other finishing touches will be added such as hanging arcade game faces suspended along the walls.
It’s a fine addition to downtown entertainment and it’s an addition the family can enjoy until later hours. I know Urban Girl is going to enjoy it. With movies, pinball, a children’s art studio in the old city (Basement Community Art Studio) and a soon-to-come bowling alley, the list of anytime fun downtown options is growing rapidly.
The lounge will initially maintain the same hours as Suttree’s Tavern, though that may change in the future. It’s also available for rental simply by calling the Suttree’s (865-934-3814). In the later hours each night, the lounge will transition to 21 and over. A change machine will be available so you can turn your dollars into quarters and begin your personal journey to become a pinball wizard in your own right. Give them a “like” on Facebook and stop in to check it out starting at 5:00 PM today.