KC Date Night - Town Topic and Up - Down

Monday, August 22, 2016

Do you remember what it was like to troll the mall as a teen in the 80s? Well I do and it was the best time of my life. I lived within walking distance of our local mall, and every Saturday, you would find me and my friends hanging out at Metcalf South Mall. And just what would we do there? Shop for cheap cosmetics at Osco Drug, browse the latest cassette tapes at Disc Jockey, spend babysitting money at Claire's, and when I got older, spent babysitting money on lay-way at Ups and Downs and the Closet. When after Dirty Dancing made it's way to the dollar movie, my friend Michelle and I would see it every Saturday afternoon. Every Saturday afternoon!!!!

Oh, and then there was the arcade. You know, the seedy little joint that was just down the hall from the Orange Julius? Ours was dimly lit, the only true lighting came from the neon glow of the game screens and some canned lights over head. You had all the classics; Pac-Mac, Ms. Pac-Man, Centipede (my personal favorite), Donkey Kong (a game I played in the waiting room of my orthodontist), Galaga, and pinball machines. Top 40 hits played overhead, and for any kid of the 80s, the arcade was so awesome. I loved it there.

And when you couldn't get to the arcade, you played games on your Atari. Now, I didn't own an Atari, my first gaming unit came years later in the form of a Nintendo 64, but my uncle and husband had one and you should hear them talk about their amazing triumphs on that one tiny joy stick. Atari in the 80s is the equivalent to XBox and Playstation for anyone reading this that was born well into the 90s! Head to this link to get a taste of gaming in the 80s!

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I found ourselves free on a Friday night. So when he asked me if I would be interested in heading to a new arcade/bar in town called Up-Down, I immediately said yes! Again, I loved the arcade. And this place is a through back to our gaming era. Old 80s games, 80s classic movies playing on screens throughout the space, and 80s jams blaring overhead make you feel like you've just hitched a ride on a DeLorean and headed back to 1985! (Watch Back to the Future if you have no idea what I'm referencing.) It was awesome!! We started with a cocktail, a Cider Block Wit for me, Jack and water for him. We got our tokens, $5 for 20 (games are 25 cents a play), and we were off for a night of nostalgia. 

We played Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Indian Jones Pinball, Centipede where I got control stick claw, Duck Hunt, Toobin', several rounds of Skee Ball, and then back for more fun on the true classics we grew up with. 

Then we hit the roof top deck to take in a gorgeous August evening. We found two stools on the edge of the deck and just relaxed. We talked, laughed, people watched, and viewed a very animated video of my uncle explaining to Joel how to play an old Atari game called Track and Field. Remember how I mentioned that they like to talk about their Atari triumphs? Well, Track and Field was one of those said games. Joel remembered it from his Atari and explained to me that when you played it in the arcade, some people balanced a pencil on two horizontal buttons as a toggle. It made the game easier to play because trying to constantly press the buttons simultaneously was difficult. I immediately thought of my Uncle Brent, a highly skilled gamer in his day. I quickly texted my Aunt Mandy, asking her to ask Brent if he recalled the game, and this video appeared several minutes later. Please feast your eyes below on the explanation we were unable to hear in the bar, but loved watching without sound.

This was video one of two....

  I would be remissed if I didn't talk about dinner beforehand. We knew we were headed downtown, but we weren't quite sure what we wanted to for dinner. We knew from the website that Up-Down offered a pizza bar, but we weren't really feeling pizza. As we got off the Southwest Boulevard exit, my husband mentioned that Town Topic was just down the street. Yes!! We've only been once, it was on my 40 Before 40 list several years ago, and a place I've wanted to dine at again. Perfect for a no frills date night! If you haven't been, go!! Immediately! We both had cheeseburgers, me with onion rings, him with fries. And we split a slice of lemon meringue pie for dessert. Honestly, the best little eatery! Head over to my Snapchat page, akrasnowkc, to check out a little video! 

Hands down, this has to be one of the best date nights we've had in a while and we've been going on some pretty steady dates this summer! I'm loving how we're exploring the city, after a date hiatus that consisted of some movie nights here and there. But let's chat. What are some things you love to do on date nights around the city? Throw out some suggestions! I would love to add new venues to our growing list.

Happy Monday!


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