The first of its kind, Play is the result of combining your favorite neighborhood bar with the fun of your youth – The arcade.  From the second floor of 16 South Palafox in Downtown Pensacola, Play is located in the heart of Pensacola’s Entertainment District.  21 and over.

Thanks Pensacola - We Win Again!

We love you! After winning Best Bar Overall in previous years, we have now taken Best Bar Downtown for the second time this year! Also winning Best of the Coast Best Bar For Games, Best Karaoke Night, Best Drink Specials, Best Shots and Best Sports Team Headquarters (Da Bears)!


Pensacola’s Hottest Nightlife

The sun has gone down. While most go home, you go out! After-dinner drinks and fun can be had at any number of unique businesses in Pensacola. Experience the wealth of nighttime bars, clubs, and entertainment available to fit even the most eccentric of tastes. From high-end alcohol sampling establishments to punk rock late-night venues, you’ll find everything you need to have the time of your life in Pensacola, Florida.


World of Beer and Blend Lounge

World of Beer is the perfect hot spot for the avid beer drinker to duck in for a wide variety of draft beers. With a rotating tap serving out classic brews and unique craft beers alike, World of Beer offers something different every time you visit. Cocktail lovers can enjoy mixed beverages of all kinds, from the beloved Moscow Mule to house-made cocktails you can’t find anywhere else at World of Beer’s sister liquor bar, Blend Lounge.

The Wine Bar on Palafox

The wine aficionado will thrive at The Wine Bar on Palafox, a rustic and urban nighttime hideaway with an extensive list of red, white and sparkling wines from which to choose. Come in for happy hour or for any of their exciting events, all within the historic downtown district.

Seville Quarter

The Seville Quarter is a nineteenth-century warehouse that has been Pensacola’s ultimate entertainment destination since 1967. Featuring seven amazing restaurants and bars, you’ll never be without plans when the sun goes down. Fast Eddie’s Billiard Parlor offers old-time saloon excitement while End O’ the Alley Bar provides that Irish pub charm. Experience events, shows and unique specials like you’ve never seen. Feel free to bar-hop your way through the Seville Quarter.


Looking for something more eclectic and light-hearted? Cabaret is the go-to meet-up bar and club for locals and members of the LGBTQ community. Start your happy hour here and enjoy karaoke, live music, game nights and comedy shows to keep you laughing and dancing all night long.

5 ½ Bar and Vinyl Music Hall

Sip high-end spirits in the urban and classy 5 ½ Bar. This local haunt has been a Pensacola establishment since the 1800s and has been serving up delicious cocktails since 2010. The hip and artsy bar gives guests an intimate night out where they can enjoy a hand-crafted beverage before heading next door to the Vinyl Music Hall for live music and shows. From burlesque to hip hop, Vinyl Music Hall features local groups and popular artists alike.


Experience the hottest trend in late-night entertainment at Play, Pensacola’s only full arcade and 21+ full service bar. Play features arcade favorites originating from 1980 to 2015 like Skee Ball, Arcade Basketball, Galaga, Mortal Kombat and more! The bar offers the greatest in microbrews and mixed drinks to sip while you challenge your friends to air hockey or pool. Stop by during one of Play’s awesome events featuring live DJs, trivia competitions and game tournaments.

Experience Pensacola Playtime

After soaking up that Florida sunshine, bring the fun indoors with the greatest bars and clubs Pensacola has to offer. To book a private event or learn more, contact Play or call us at (850) 466-3080.

The History of Arcade Games

In the Beginning

The first game to join the arcade family was skee ball, invented in 1909 by J.D. Estes in Philadelphia. Originally designed to be 36 feet long and played outside, the lanes were shortened to 14 feet in 1928 to accommodate a more diverse audience.

The year 1931 marked the introduction of both the first coin-operated machine and the first pinball game: Baffle Ball. The game did not have the usual pinball flippers, but instead launched ten balls onto the playing field for one US cent. The balls could only be aimed by adjusting the power at which they were fired; because of this Baffle Ball was seen as a game of chance, associated with gambling and other unsavory forms of entertainment. It took until 1947 for the familiar flippers to be added to the bottom of arcade pinball machines, transforming its reputation into that of a more family-friendly game of skill.

We Have the Technology

The first coin-operated video game was installed in Stanford University in September of 1971. Titled Galaxy Game, it cost roughly $115,000 after adjusting for inflation and cost 10 cents to play one game. The first commercially successful arcade video game was Pong, developed by Atari and released in 1972. Pong paved the way for video games both in arcades and out, eventually selling more than 35,000 units. In the decade to follow, 15 separate companies began producing video games of their own. Gun Fight, released in 1975, was the first title to use its own microprocessor.

The Golden Age

In 1978 Tiato Corp released Space Invaders, which would go on to become one of the most popular arcade games of all time. Its release heralded the start of the golden age of video games and was a catalyst for rapid advancement and proliferation of what was soon to become a worldwide pastime. Atari released Asteroids the following year, selling 70,000 arcade cabinets. Pac-Man released in 1980 and made more than $3.4 billion after adjusting for inflation; the little yellow character quickly became a pop culture icon. The subsequent years saw the release of titles like Donkey Kong, Frogger, Galaxian, Centipede, Dig-Dug and Tron.

In 1982 the arcade video game industry produced $12 billion in revenue. Sales only began to slow in 1985 with the US release of the Nintendo Entertainment System and later the Sega Master System, beginning a switch in emphasis to home gaming systems. 

Although popularity has flagged due to the diversity and prevalence of home gaming options, arcade games of all kinds still occupy a niche in today’s market among casual gamers and die-hard fans who can’t get enough of the classics.

Play, a neighborhood bar in Pensacola, Florida, strives to preserve the feeling of the old-fashioned arcade, and makes it even better by throwing alcohol, food, trivia, karaoke and other great stuff in the mix! Stop by tonight to play some of the best games of all time, including The Claw, Pac-Man, Asteroids, Galaga, Street Fighter, Pinball, Silver Strike Hunter, Big Buck Hunter, skee ball, air hockey and much more.

The Five Best-Selling Arcade Games of All Time

With all the gaming options available today, it can be easy to barricade yourself inside your home playing the latest games against players from all over the world. While games today feature the highest quality graphics and immersive interactive play, there is still a special kind of enjoyment you can get from heading down to your local arcade.

While new arcade games come and go, there are some revered classics whose perfect mix of addictive gameplay and nostalgia have sustained their popularity for decades. Despite their stone-age quality graphics in comparison with newer games and their simplistic gameplay (or maybe in part thanks to), these arcade games still maintain a loyal fan following that has solidified them as cultural fixtures even to this day.

The first successful video game was Pong by Atari Inc. which was released in 1972. This ushered in what amounted to a gaming gold rush, where many developers wanted to create the next big hit. The resulting “golden age” of video arcade games took place from 1978 to 1986 when games like Space Invaders, Frogger and Vs. Super Mario Bros were at the height of their popularity.

The following classic arcade games are the best sellers of all time and have each sold more than 100,000 machines.

5. Ms. Pac-Man – 125,000 units sold

A spin-off of the original Pac-Man game, Ms. Pac-Man was produced by Bally/Midway Manufacturing and was released in 1982. Ms. Pac-Man is actually credited with opening up gaming to a female audience, and made Pac-Man the only video game series to be featured twice in the top five.

4. Donkey Kong – 132,000 units sold

Donkey Kong was first released in 1981 by Nintendo and featured the debut of Jumpman, who would later become Mario. This was one of the first games to have an actual storyline, and has been called one of the toughest arcade games in history.

3. Street Fighter II: The World Warrior – 200,000 units sold

Luckily for Capcom, the second version of their Street Fighter game was much more successful than the first. This game revolutionized competitive play in arcade games and had people lining up to play it in hopes of being the best of the best. Street Fighter II introduced the concept of player controlled gaming combos, and their SNES version of the game has sold more than six million copies.

2. Space Invaders – 360,000 units sold

This Taito game is credited with starting the golden age of video arcade games and is often cited as the originator of shooting games. This game was inspired by popular movies such as Star Wars and The War of the Worlds. Despite a simple concept, Space Invaders went on to become the second highest selling arcade game of all time.

1. Pac-Man – 400,000 units sold

The first version of Pac-Man was released by Namco in 1980 and spawned many spin-offs including Pac-Land and Ms. Pac-Man. It also featured the first gaming mascot character and was a pioneer in the maze game genre. Pac-Man has grossed about $2.5 billion in quarters over the years, and has been featured at the Smithsonian and the Museum of Modern Art.

Play the Classics at Play

For a unique bar and arcade experience in Pensacola, Play offers both new and classic arcade-style games and more than 20 rotating microbrews. We also feature live musicians and DJs, video trivia and a unique party space for private events. Visit us tonight to try the following games:


·         The Claw

·         Pac-Man

·         Asteroids

·         Galaga

·         Street Fighter

·         Pinball

·         Silver Strike Hunter

·         Big Buck Hunter

·         Skee Ball

·         Air Hockey

·         And Much More

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Play Sponsors Dodgebrawl

On June 27th, Play proudly sponsored DodgeBrawl, a charity dodge ball tournament that raised $4,500 for local charities. It was a field of 40 teams. This will be an annual event that is sure to grow bigger by the year. We love our community and are always excited to participate in making our home a better place to work, live and play! 

Illuminated Mardi Gras Parade

Its the craziest of the Mardi Gras Parades so don't miss the Krewe of Lafitte Illuminated Parade on  Friday, Feb. 13th. The party kicks off at 730pm. Catch the action from the second floor right here at Play! 

Official Pensacon Launch Party!

By now, you've heard about Pensacon, our very own Comic-Con here on the Gulf Coast. Last year's Pensacon was a major success and we were proud to host official Pensacon events and we even transformed Play into Chalmun's Cantina for a very special Pensacon commercial shoot. Well this year, we're hitting you with the hottest, most buzz-worthy Pensacon launch party on Friday, Feb 27th - in honor of Tiny Lister, aka Deebo! The event, simply titled "Friday" is a West Coast themed bash inspired by everyone's favorite film, "Friday." After all, "Its Friday, you ain't got no job...and you ain't got shit to do!" 

Skee Ball League - Season 8, Autograph Board

Season 8, Skee Ball League, is officially in the record books. 

Winners: Hepatitis Skee. Second: Black & Tan. Third: Mo'Nicas.

At the end of every season, our teams sign the autograph board to commemorate another great season. This one is epic and is hanging up now at Play. 

Manna Food Bank Donation

Thanks to the local Chive chapter, ChiveOn Pensacola, for hosting their un-official "Meet-Up" at Play. Together we were able to raise hundreds of dollars for the Manna Food Bank, just in time for their post-flood recovery. Thank you to everyone who came out, bought raffle tickets and enjoyed the food, drinks and games. You rock!

16 S. Palafox Place, Pensacola, FL 32502