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Spend your quarters at The Quarters

Christina Yacono/Daily Collegian

Christina Yacono/Daily Collegian

The long-anticipated opening of vintage arcade/bar, The Quarters, has finally arrived, to the delight of many Pioneer Valley residents. Owners George Meyers and Greg Stutsman opened the doors, turned on the taps and fired up the video games for the first time on January 10th at a small opening party of supporters and friends. Their support was well-deserved too, as the project was in the making for years before Meyers and Stutsman’s idea became a reality.

“We love what it provides as a forum for exchange and interaction with other people and friends,” Meyers said. “It’s fun and easy-going, but also provides a little bit of stress relief, competition and enjoyment.”

The Quarters features over 20 vintage arcade games and three pinball machines that run on precisely what the name of the establishment suggests: quarters. There are games for people of all ages, with favorites such as Ms. Pac Man, Galaga, Crystal Castles, Space Invaders, Dig Dug and The Simpsons..

“It’s very normal to see people multiple generations apart playing games, enjoying some food and drinks side by side,” Meyers said.

While the nightlife at The Quarters is comparable to that of a bar, their doors are open to parents and children until 9 p.m. so that all ages can enjoy the food and games. The overall feel of the establishment is that of inclusiveness and community, and nothing brings people together more than video games and good food. Some of The Quarters’ most popular menu items are the The Banh Mi hot dog, which comes in a vegan or meat option, Choco Taco ice cream treats, fried Brussels sprouts and the Maine Root soda.

Since its opening, business has been going exceptionally well for The Quarters. It seems that Meyers and Stutsman have won the affections of Pioneer Valley residents by harnessing their sentimental feelings toward the games of their youth.

“We’ve had tons of support from all different types of communities: Students, parents with children, locals who just come and hang out. We’re thrilled with the response to the space we’ve tried very hard to put together,” Meyers said. It’s a very fun-loving group with lots of good energy and passion for the games.”

In fact, The Quarters could not exist today without the unshaking support of the community. With the help of funding website IndieGoGo, the owners were able to purchase the first few game machines that have since become their commodity. The opening weekend of The Quarters was dedicated to a private party for its supporters that made the entire project possible.

“The project, in various iterations, has been in the works for about five years,” Meyers says. “We went through a number of different locations and slightly different business models until we came across this location about a year and a half ago.”

The Quarters is located at 8 Railroad St., right on the town line between Hadley and Amherst. The bar is one block back from Route 9 and sits directly on the Norwottuck Rail Trail. Because of its proximity to the trail, the owners suggest using the bike trail to get to The Quarters, carpooling or using public transportation. For UMass students, the best way to get to The Quarters is to take the PVTA Blue 43 bus and get off at the Russell St. stop across from The Donut Man shop, which is just short walk away.

“There’s also something magical about the ability to experience what can be perceived as anachronistic for entertainment in a new place and time,” Meyers explains, “Despite all the amazing advances in gaming culture, arcade games from 1979 are still extremely challenging, fun and rewarding to play.”

The Quarters is the perfect place to share a drink with friends and delve into a world that existed before Xbox or PlayStation. It brings you back to a time when kids would go to the arcade and spend their entire allowance trying to win a game of Space Invaders, or just to chat over a cold soda. The bar is a perfect resurrection of childhood, and for just a handful of quarters, customers can relive these priceless memories.

The Quarters is open every day from noon to 1 a.m., except Mondays when it opens at 5 p.m. The bar is also open for booking of private parties and corporate parties. For more information and updates on The Quarters, please visit their website, hadleyquarters.com, and Facebook page, www.facebook.com/hadleyquarters.

Sarah Robertson can be reached at srobertson@umass.edu.

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