Fun and Games at Joysticks Orlando

Prepare to geek out over the arcade games and candy-inspired cocktails at Joysticks.



Joysticks Arcade Lounge & Retro Bar is a blast from the past with ‘80s arcade games and cool cocktails.

Mariah Wild

Nostalgia abounds at Joysticks Arcade Lounge & Retro Bar, a gamer’s paradise that will have you time-traveling back to the 1980s—the heyday of Ms. Pac-Man, Frogger and Missile Command. Here are four reasons to visit the downtown hot spot, filled with video games, movie memorabilia and a collection of colorful characters. 

1. The novelty. Say hello to owner/manager Addie Hassel and Jeffrey Stelter, the bar’s design consultant. Both had long searched for a fun ‘80s-style bar, but when they couldn’t find one, they did the next best thing and opened Joysticks. The staircase wall leading to the second floor combination bar-arcade is painted with glow-in-the-dark characters from throwback movies and TV shows and toys, like Ghostbusters villains, Care Bears, Smurfs, and a floating Rubik’s Cube. A prominently placed Piranha Plant from Super Mario Bros. and a bright orange Q*bert come to life, bathed in the glow of neon signs hanging from above, while enthused patrons jostle video games in hopes of winning. 

2. The games. They’re free! Arcade classics like Donkey Kong Jr., Pac-Man, Tron, Space Invaders, Mario Bros., and nearly a dozen more are lined up between a Jaws-themed lounge complete with seating designed to look like the toothy maw of the shark, and a small stage that hosts live bands on various weekdays. Feel the need for speed? Next to a designated PlayStation and Xbox hub, where you trade in your ID for an old-school controller and couch seat, there’s an air hockey table. 

3. The lounge areas. These areas are as authentic as anything at Disney. Haunted Mansion lovers can relax on a spooky purple sectional under a sign that reads “Tomb Sweet Tomb.” Across the way, a hot pink Barbie-inspired chaise sits adjacent to a VIP Star Wars Light Saber Lounge. Last, a Never Say Die VIP Lounge dedicated to The Goonies hosts the skeleton of One Eyed Willie, who has his own seat under the movie’s map, illuminated by yellow candlelight. The VIP lounges are available for private parties.

4. The drinks. Pour some sugar on me, indeed. Candy-inspired cocktails range from refreshing—the Shark Attack, made with Absolut Citron and lemonade and garnished with shark gummies; and Weird Science, made with Jack Daniels, Midori liqueur and ginger beer that magically bubbles when served—to saccharine—the Malibu Barbie, a concoction of coconut rum, peach and orange flavors and topped with glitter; and the Truffle Shuffle shot, with Absolut Vanilla, butterscotch schnapps and Kahlua (making this one reminiscent of a Baby Ruth candy bar). These clever creations are served on a Monopoly game-tiled bar by Hassel’s “sockstars,” bartenders who are dressed in vintage athletic socks, track shorts, crop tops and fanny packs. The bar also offers a more down-to-earth craft beer menu. 

Go once, and one thing is for sure—you’ll be back. 

Edit Module
Want to read the whole issue? Download and read this issue and others on Magzter.

Add your comment:
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags

Guides & Resources

Premier Realtors 2017

Let Orlando's best realtors help you find your dream home!

Orlando's Best Lawyers 2017

Our annual list includes hundreds of Orlando-area attorneys in dozens of areas of practice.

Orlando's Top Dentists of 2017

Our annual list featuring 224 of the area's finest dental professionals.

Guide to Private Schools 2017

Our searchable annual database will help you chart an educational course for your family.

2016 Premier Doctors

Our annual list of over 500 doctors.

Best Doctors 2016

The Annual List of the Best Doctors in Orlando.

Top Doctors 2016

The Annual List of the Top Doctors in Orlando.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

MoreRecent Blog Posts

Weekend Happenings June 23 to 25

Know what's happening in and around Orlando for the weekend.

6 Stylish Outdoor Banquette Ideas

Weekend Happenings June 16 to 18

Know what's happening in and around Orlando for the weekend.

Road Trip Itinerary for the Best of Florida

How to Create a Storm Evacuation Plan

Edit Module