On Sunday she and her husband took me to lunch at a really cool place called Dirty Franks Hot Dog Palace.
The menu was pretty spectacular: I’ve never seen that many varieties of hot dogs in one place, and they serve Vienna Beef dogs—made in Chicago—so I felt right at home. By the way, Momo and I each ordered a “Classy Lady” hot dog because OF COURSE.
Anyway, the decor was pretty amazing, too. The walls were covered with paintings of music acts (from Michael Jackson to Thin Lizzy to Hall & Oates to Kiss…), there was a Chicago Cubs tribute wall (thanks, Columbus!), and there were assorted hot dog and dog-themed items everywhere, too.
After our delicious lunch we walked right next door to 16-Bit Bar + Arcade, and I was in heaven. This place housed basically every single one of my favorite arcade games from the 80’s, and they were loaded with credits for free play: all we had to do was buy drinks. (No problem!) There was 80’s music playing in the background, and the three of us hit up those classic games for more than two hours. I only wish I had noticed the specialty cocktail menu while I was there, because I wouldn’t have stuck with Jack & Coke. I mean, a Molly Ringwald? A Burt Reynolds? I’ll have to go back.
There were even drink tables in between the arcade games so both hands can be freed up for moving, jumping, and shooting. Genius.
I had a great time playing my old favorites like Pac Man, Dig Dug, Tapper, Centipede, Millipede, Rally X, Space Invaders, Burgertime, and a few others. Actually, “great” doesn’t even begin to describe the nostalgic joy I was experiencing. Maybe you should ask Momo how many times I exclaimed, “I LOVE THIS PLACE!!!” Or maybe not, because I was probably annoying.
Mike challenged me to a couple of games of Donkey Kong and I know I totally impressed him with the crossed arms technique I started back in the day because I totally suck at controlling a game joystick effectively with my left hand. Momo called this the “DK Crossover”. I must have impressed her too, since she took this picture:
Stop rolling your eyes, Momo.
Momo spent some quality time with Pac Man, Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and Clyde…
I loved playing games with those two because the competitive spirit was pretty fierce, but fun. We spent a chunk of time playing Off Road all together, and it was hysterical. I know they thought it was hilarious the way I would lose control of my car and then accidentally go around the track in reverse so I could occasionally claim the bags of money before they could get to them. Wait, maybe hilarious isn’t the right word. Anyway, there was lots of LOLing while playing that game.
Our trip back to the 80’s got me thinking. I decided that if I were ever going to open a business, it would be something like this: it’s totally genius, and totally fun. I would be all over the 80’s theme, and I started making mental plans immediately after I saw the bathroom mirror that was etched with “Everyone must wash hands: think of who’s touched those buttons”. Then I realized that I don’t have the money or time to run a business like this one, or the real desire to run any business, truly. In theory it was a great idea, but I think I’ll just have to make some more visits to “C-bus”—pronounced “See-bis” by me but apparently “See-bus” by all of the locals—to play my favorite vintage arcade games with my friends.
So thanks, Momo and family, for a great time as usual. Love you guys, and I’ll see you soon!