Green Bars: Barcade, various locations in northeastern US

The bar industry, just like its restaurant counterpart, is known for generating huge amounts of waste. With more and more businesses becoming aware of the impact of waste, many businesses, especially independents, are embracing being green with an open heart.

Barcade, a combination bar and arcade with a focus on classic video games and American craft beer, opened its first bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in 2004. With a love of old school computer games such as Donkey Kong, Tetris and Alien vs. Predator, Barcade’s founders have had a green sensibility from all those years ago.

Much of the material used during the construction of Barcade’s Williamsburg bar, which was a former metal shop, was salvaged or found. The founders also used reclaimed wood, doors, windows and light fixtures when kitting the place out.

With the whole joint powered by wind energy, Barcade have also made use of eco-friendly supplies including 100% compostable and sustainable drinking straws, bamboo cocktail skewers, and recycled paper stock is used for their daily beer menus.

The green message is not just exclusive to Barcade’s first bar in Williamsburg, but remains policy throughout its roster of bars, which now includes seven in New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia. It will also be opening bars in Los Angeles and Detroit in the near future.

Earlier this year Barcade implemented 42 environmental steps at its location in the East Village of New York City to meet the Green Restaurant Association’s certification requirements, and is now rated a 3 Star Certified Green Restaurant by the Green Restaurant Association (GRA).

The GRA determines how green a bar or restaurant is by ranking an establishment via a point system. Points are awarded in the following categories: disposables, energy, furnishing and building, food, chemical and pollution, waste, and water. Barcade’s St. Mark’s location achieved the 3 Star rating by meeting the certification requirements in each of those categories, as well as by: maximising water efficiency; not using any Styrofoam; and implementing a comprehensive recycling system, including a composting program.

Barcade CEO Paul Kermizian said: “It [GRA’s certification requirements] required a lot of work in terms of overhauling multiple facets of our operations, from switching away from plastics and implementing a composting program, to making sure we have enough vegetarian food options on our menu. But at the end of the day, it was well worth it, as being environmentally friendly is a cause that we very much believe in. Going forward, our goal is to bring all of our other locations up to the GRA’s standards as well.”

If you have a penchant for old skool arcade games, respect for the environment and fancy a locally brewed craft beer, Barcade’s your joint.


Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea




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