Up-Down; The Cure for Barroom Boredom

Do you like hanging out and having some drinks with friends? We all typically do, but sometimes, that logistically leads to a boring time when the conversational well runs dry. Thankfully, there’s a place that aims to change that!

Up-Down, a fun, nostalgic place in the Crossroads lets you hangout and drink with your friends, while also playing familiar old school arcade games that you used to love when you were younger. You can even meet some of your favorite local bands there, while enjoying one of the largest local beer selections in the city.

KC-Exterior (1)
image source: http://www.updownjobs.com

Arcade bars are a fairly new trend that you may have seen popping up around the city, but Up-Down separates itself by being more than simply a bar with some arcade games on the wall.

“Up-Down, at its core, is a nostalgia bar,” said David Hayden the marketing manager of Up-Down, “we try to get away from the idea of ‘arcade bar’ because we have a lot more to offer than that.”

Indeed, Up-Down is not simply a place that has some old games available to play, it’s an establishment that gives you a fun trip back-in-time.

“People often ask me, is this an 80’s bar or is this a 90’s bar?” said Hayden. “The secret is; it’s a ‘when you were 13′ bar. We want you to go back to that time when you were first able to go out and explore on your own… go back to that age when you could just go ahead be excited about things.”

image source: http://farm9.static.flickr.com

Up-Down pairs this nostalgic theme with contemporary music, and 48 craft beers on tap, a thing Hayden said allows you to still have all the things that appeal to you as an adult, while giving you all the fun and excitement that lets you go back to being a kid again.

Another notable aspect about Up-Down is the diverse demographic of their patrons. “The demographic is really very broad”, said Hayden, “people from their 50s to their 20s hang out here because they love the idea of having something more to do than just sit around and drink.”

Up-Down not only provides you something more to do than just drink with your friends and watch sports, it also is finding ways to, not only blend-in, but help shape the local community. One of those ways is a weekly event called Local Tuesdays.

image source: http://www.updownkc.com

“We get a different local band to come in every week,” said Hayden, “we don’t have live music, they just come in to hang. If you go up and talk to them, they have free tokens to give you. We do a $1-off all local beers and we play all local music, all night. So it’s a great time to come in and just kind of enjoy some of the flavor that makes Kansas City unique.”

Local Tuesdays is a great way for Up-Down to connect with and become a part of the Kansas City community, something Hayden said Up-Down takes pride in doing.

“All of our craft beers on tap, over 25% of them at any given time are local beers… that’s a company-wide principle.” said Hayden. “The bar we’re sitting at right now was built by a local subcontractor… our bank is right next door… there are a lot of things that we source locally. We love that, we want to be a part of the communities that we’re in… and we really invest heavily in that.”

Up-Down has become a destination place in the Crossroads District, and deservedly so, because Up-Down is the one of the only places you can be an adult, but feel as carefree as you did when you were 13! Up-Down, in the Crossroads, is the cure for barroom boredom.


To learn more about Up-Down, listen to our podcast interview with David Hayden, marketing manager of Up-Down, and learn about the origins of the company, how they decide upon and acquire the games, and so much more!

Click the following link for the interview: Tim and Tom – UpDown

Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast to hear more fun interviews as we travel around Kansas City, learning everything we can about the City of Fountains!


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