Getting Buzzed at Glitch Bar with Craft Beer and Retro Arcade Games
By Joe Pye
It’s one of my favorites in Flagler Village for reasons beyond video games.
I have a tour I like to give friends and family visiting from out of town: We start at Orchestrated Minds Brewing, Uber to Invasive Species, walk to Laser Wolf, then to Glitch Bar to end the night.
It showcases all of my favorite breweries and bars. We could simply call it after tacos from Laser Wolf. But Glitch Bar is the best way to leave my guests with a lasting memory. I’ve tried to put my finger on what I love so much about the place…
- Is it the nostalgia of a club decked out in ‘80s and ‘90s pop culture references?
- The unique beer selection?
- The perfect lighting that transports guests to another time period?
I’d like to say it’s simply all of the above. But there’s more.
How do those things all come together in balance and harmony? I’ve gone to other arcade bars locally and while traveling. There’s something unique about Glitch Bar.
My friend and founder of the South Florida geek culture blog Geek’s Gazette, Gillian Manning, and I recently sat down with the owner of Glitch Bar to learn what gives it such a unique personality.
Here’s our video interview with Glitch Bar’s owner Dwight Slamp…
I can sum it up quickly: The personality of Glitch is Slamp. Let’s get into the details.
Counterculture and craft beer
Glitch caters to more than just the diehard craft beer fan. Slamp defines the bar’s beer selection as a “hybrid” between your typical bar and a craft beer bar.
With a rotating variety of 24 unique beer styles and 100 packaged beers in cans and bottles. There’s a blend between macro lagers and craft IPAs, sours, stouts, and wheat beers.
“We carry big box beer like Corona and stuff like that but we try to keep on craft styles,'” Slamp says. “It’s just finding that balance between unique and what people want to purchase.”
Over the years, it’s become obvious to me that craft beer simply isn’t for everyone. There’s no point in proving craft beer tastes better to someone who either doesn’t drink beer or doesn’t care. I do appreciate the inventory at Glitch Bar.
I’ve regularly had Civil Society “Fresh” on draft. On one of my last visits, my brother and I were able to grab 20-ounce cans of Sierra Nevada Torpedo. It was great because we got hooked on a game of Street Fighter we didn’t want to break away from for a minute.
It’s more than an arcade, it’s a time period
The entire mood of Glitch Bar is intentional. From the “Alien” and “Back to the Future” murals on the outside to the “Garbage Pail Kids” cards on the walls inside, the decor is focused on Slamp’s youth.
In his previous career, Slamp sold lighting equipment to bars and nightclubs around the country. While on one of his bi-weekly sales trips, he found himself in a bar arcade and had an “aha moment.” Slamp could combine the pop culture and arcade games of his youth with a unique nightclub experience South Florida didn’t already have.
“There was a need for it in South Florida,” Slamp says. “At the time, there wasn’t really anything that had that nostalgia and retro feel.”
It’s also intentional that Glitch doesn’t have modern games and mainly focuses on arcade games from the ’80s and ’90s. It’s what I personally love about Glitch. I was born in ’89 and will be 34 in a few weeks.
Playing The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game takes me back three decades ago when I played that same game at a local Chuck E’ Cheese or Gran Prix Race-A-Rama when it was still open.
“Glitch Bar has been an outlet for me to channel my youth,” Slamp says. “I collect toys, I collect art, I collect video games. All of the stuff here would be stuff I had in my room when I was a kid.”
I feel that, and it takes me back too. Aside from great beer and fun games, Glitch Bar hits me in the feels and reminds me of a time I didn’t have responsibilities.