Video gamers have an opportunity to get nostalgic with the recent opening of an arcade bar in Murrells Inlet.
Player 1UP is in a 7,000-square-foot building that was formerly Milardo’s Pizzeria and Sports Pub at the entrance to Inlet Square Mall on U.S. 17 Business.
The owners are Rock Hill residents Mike Bost, Steven Fowler and Howard Bohrer, a former Myrtle Beach city police officer who is the managing partner in Murrells Inlet.
They opened the original Player 1UP in Rock Hill in August 2019. “Arcade bars is really a big thing that’s happening and it has been real successful for us,” Bost said.
The business features classic cabinet arcade games that date back to the early 1980s including Galaga, Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Centipede, Asteroids, Donkey Kong and Transformers, some more contemporary arcade games, and about two dozen pinball machines that are both new and retro, including those featuring Aerosmith, Iron Maiden, Pac-Man and Star Wars.
It also has billiards tables, air hockey, Skee-Ball, NBA Hoops, racing games and shooting games. There are more than 75 games in total.
Bost said Player 1UP is part of the Stern Army, meaning it is hosting tournaments sponsored by the Stern Pinball manufacturer. The bar will regularly have karaoke, trivia and music bingo, and DJs on weekends.
The business has a full bar with video game-themed craft cocktails and features more than a dozen draft beers including local brews and IPAs. There are a number of TVs at the bar and throughout the building for sports viewing.
The menu consists generally of American bar food including stone-cooked pizza — the stone ovens are a holdover from Milardo’s — burgers, cheesesteaks, chicken tenders and fries.
Player 1UP is open seven days per week. All ages are allowed until 9 p.m., when the bar changes to 21 and up. It caters to service industry workers with late-night specials and will be open until 2 a.m. through the summer, at least on weekends. It currently opens at 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. Friday through Sunday.
“Your restaurants and bars that close early, they will have a place to come,” Bost said. “. . . People we’ve talked to have been really acceptive of what’s going on and really excited about having something to do, especially late night. That’s the thing about bars. You sit and drink and talk, but this gives you something more. We’ll have a lot of multi-player games where groups of up to four people can play.”
The bar on a 2,000-square-foot rooftop is being prepared for an opening, and the rooftop is currently open for customers to bring their drinks and enjoy picnic tables with umbrellas.
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