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Photos + Video: It's game on at Greta, Vancouver's brand-new arcade bar

Ready to level up your next night out?

Ready to level up your next night out? Gastown is now home to a new adults-only arcade bar called Greta, which is packed with new and retro games, drinks, and a fun food truck-inspired menu.

Greta has taken over the sprawling ground floor space at 50 W Cordova St, which served as the popular watering hole The Bourbon for many years, and opened its doors at the very end of April.

Hailing from Alberta, Greta's first location opened in Calgary in 2018, followed soon after by an Edmonton outpost. The Vancouver location has been in the works since pre-pandemic, but it wasn't until this year that things really took shape for the brand at its new branch in YVR.

The Greta crew put a lot of work into remodelling The Bourbon space, kitting out the massive venue and its cozy exposed brick walls with big, bold, vibrant murals done by Vancouver artists. Eye-catching and Insta-worthy art is also one reason you'll want to take a gaming break inside each and every one of Greta's multiple gender-neutral individual bathrooms: they commissioned a different local artist to adorn the walls of each washroom, and every one comes with a descriptive placard. 

What's on the menu at Greta?

The giant kitchen was pared back and the Greta set up - where they execute a playful menu of dishes using about 95 per cent scratch components - has the look and feel of a food truck. Gaming plus food trucks are actually the whole vibe of Greta (a visual mashup is even their logo), so it's no surprise they've designed the walk-up ordering window to look like a real food truck is parked in the room.

On the menu are souped-up takes on bar bites, along with some brighter, fresher options, created under the direction of Greta YVR Chef Tomoki Yamasaki. Tuck into plates of appies like pulled pork taquitos, Korean- or Vietnamese-style wings, or fried chicken "street nuggets" with pickles, or opt for filling bowls like a poke-inspired "pokeman" tuna bowl or the "health care" salad loaded with fresh veggies and quinoa. On the "handhelds" side there's a spicy fried chicken burger or a fish-and-chips "butty" sandwich, or Greta's signature smash burger, plus fried churros for dessert and sides like small salads and fries. Big groups can order special platters for 10 or more guests 48 hours ahead of their reservation.

For libations, game fans can choose from house cocktails (or anything from the full bar), as well as wines by the glass or bottle, and domestic, imported, or local craft beers on tap or bottled/canned. And yes, you can sip on White Claws, canned cocktails like Ole's paloma or margarita, and non-alcoholic options as well.

How to get in the game(s)

Guests can either make a table reservation (with table service) or hit up Greta as a walk-in. Gaming is accessed using re-loadable tap-and-play cards, and there are plenty of games to choose from. We're talking Guitar Hero, arcade Mario Kart, pinball, Pac-Man, The Simpsons, and Skeeball - just for starters. Some games issue tickets for wins, which are redeemable at the shop for Greta swag - that's anything from toques and tees to Greta chocolate bars made by Vancouver's Hype chocolates. The games are spread out around the entire venue, including in the "back bar" area, which is fronted by a dance floor for some weekend night moves.

Thanks to a grandfathered liquor license from The Bourbon, Greta is open from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. weeknights and from 3 p.m. to 3 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. The flip side is that the license means it's 19+ only, so the kids have to stay at home. But that's okay: you deserve to have all the kid-free fun. 

@vancouverisawesome 🕹Now accepting all skeeball challenges. #forkingawesome #vancouverbc #arcadebar #vancouverfood ♬ Super Mario Bros Main Theme - Geek Music