The restaurant team behind Grand Trunk Pub, Whisky Parlor, and Checker Bar is reopening their previous pop-up venue, Pop, on the second floor of the Checker Bar this Friday. The newly remodeled 2,300-square-foot space, now named Pop + Offworld, will include over 30 arcade games, creative New York style pizzas, and a full bar.
The restaurant marks the first official “landing site” for the Offworld Arcade, which was popping up monthly in Checker Bar with classic video games. After seeing the success of the popups downstairs, Checker Bar co-owner David Gregory says they knew they wanted it to permanently live in the second-floor space.
After purchasing the Checker Bar building three years ago, the owners fully embraced the bar’s ’70s basement decor. In the same vein, the upstairs pizzeria jumps forward a decade, touting a distinctly ’80s vibe. From classic arcade favorites like Ms. Pacman, Donkey Kong, and Asteroids, to the aqua blue walls and pop art mural, the space is decidedly retro.
Even the cocktail list is on theme with brightly colored drinks that have names like Gizmo, Axel Foley, and Blade Runner. The ’80s loved Blue Curacao, after all.
The pizzas can best be described gourmet meets kitsch. Or as a press release put it, “the pizza you would make if you were 17 and stoned.” While the location proudly tops some pizzas with Cheetos and pork rinds, they’re also made with high-quality ingredients like fresh basil and mozzarella, sauces made in house, and crispy crusts.
All-in-all, if you’re a fan of the ’80s or just good pizza, you’ll definitely want to stop in, if for no other reason than a quick trip back in time.
“We are excited to move forward in history as we open the newly restored and remodeled second floor of Checker Bar,” said the owners in a release. “From the collage of fashion magazine ads that were uncovered on the walls, to the vintage video games, and the ’80s inspired murals by Michelle Tanguay, POP is sure to transport all that enter.”
No Delorean required.