Offering a spot where games and drinks mix isn’t a particularly new idea. Chains like Dave & Buster’s have been doing it for a long time, and there are even a fair amount of local bars such as the The One Up in Sherman Oaks or EightyOne in the Arts District that offer cabinet games to pair with their libations. However, Two Bit Circus, which saw its doors open to the public in Downtown earlier this month, takes things to an entirely new level.
Billing itself as a “Micro Amusement Park,” the renovated 50,000-square-foot warehouse in the Arts District has a wide range of gaming activities to check out, including VR experiences, classic arcade games, and Story Rooms, which take guests into a themed-location where they must interact with their surroundings and their team in order to solve puzzles or unfold a narrative.
Virtual reality stations are abundant, offering the chance to immerse yourself in a world where you can fight dragons, drive tanks, explore crafted sci-fi terrain, and much more. One experience, called ‘The Raft’, has you defend a swamp against an infestation of supernatural creeps. Other offerings range from pinball to four-player air hockey to arcade staples like Street Fighter II, to more immersive experiences like Two Bit’s ‘Story Rooms’, which create what are essentially mini escape rooms that require a group to play through. There are even ‘VR Cabanas’, karaoke-style rooms that can be rented on an hourly basis and allow you and up to five friends to play a variety of Virtual Reality games together.
Food and drink wise, a circular bar dominates the center of the space while a concession window off to one side offers a moderate range of bar food (fries, corn dogs, sliders, tots, etc…) at somewhat immoderate prices ($15-ish per dish). But let’s be real, you’re coming here for the gaming.
In order to play the arcade games you can pre-load a card you swipe at the various consoles (no quarters, yay!) and the Story Rooms and VR experiences require reservations, with costs typically ranging from $15 to $35. Experiences generally run from 15 to 30 minutes, though at least one will push an hour (The Lost City).
Two Bit Circus is located at 634 Mateo St. Los Angeles, CA 90021. Operating hours are Monday to Thursday: from 4 to 11 p.m., Friday from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m., Saturday from 11 to 1 a.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Admission is free, and games are purchase on a per-play basis. Occasionally the park will be closed for a private event, so calling ahead is always recommended. Parking is limited, so street parking is likely.