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8 North Shore Gaming Spots You May Not Have Heard Of

Gaming in Expected and Unexpected Places North of Boston

Dungeon Crawlers, Roleplayers, Retrogamers, and Card Collectors all need places to play. The culture of modern gaming means that there’s a place for everyone to play, no matter what their tastes are.

Board Game Cafes and Barcades are the most recent in a long line of alternative entertainment for hardcore gamers and newbie players alike, creating opportunities for people to get out of their house and have a good time with people who have the same interests. 

Console yourself with these well-known, and maybe not so well-known places, for you to get your game on North of Boston. 


Bit Bar

Located on Bridge St. in Salem, MA, the former site of Salem Jail, Bit Bar is Salem’s only Barcade and it has become a quick hit for local and visiting retrogamers and karaoke fiends. Featuring more than 30 vintage arcade games as well as comfort food and specialty cocktails, Bit Bar has also gained a reputation for being one of the best spots for karaoke and bar crafting events. Follow them for more info on upcoming events. 

Upcoming Events:  


The Castle: a Board Game Cafe

Beverly’s The Castle: a Board Game Cafe is one of the premier tabletop gaming locales North of Boston. Guests just pay $5 per person for unlimited gaming per day from their selection of over 750 games including vintage classics and modern hits of varying play times and difficulty levels. Players can also grab tasty snacks and beverages from the café.

In addition to just being a gaming hotspot, The Castle also hosts popular trivia (reservations recommended) and comedy nights. Click here to make a reservation for gaming or trivia. 

Upcoming Events:


Bent Water Brewing Co. 

Bent Water Brewing Co.’s taproom is a fantastic gem in Lynn’s industrial waterfront district. Recently, they’ve added a number of great evening events including live music, comedy, and retro gaming nights. Their particular flavor of gaming is Original Nintendo (NES) and Super Nintendo (SNES) – giving you the chance to drink some of their great beers while you’re racing Yoshi and Princess Peach. 

Upcoming Events: 


Granite Coast Brewing 

Peabody’s Granite Coast Brewing has added so much to the creative economy in downtown Peabody over the last year. It isn’t just a stop-off point to grab a drink before or after attending other events in downtown Peabody, it’s also a destination all its own featuring fun events and food pop-ups many nights of the week. 

Recently, they’ve added tabletop evenings, starting this week with Dungeons and Dragons for newbies. 

Upcoming Events: 


Gulu Gulu Café 

One of the local favorites in Salem, Gulu Gulu is a bar with tasty bites, live music, and a great atmosphere. With shelves of board games and various places to spread out on quieter evenings, Gulu is a great place to kick back and get a game on with some friends. Also, Gulu hosts a Sunday night Bingo each week at 6:00 pm, giving you the chance to drink great brews and win cool prizes. 

Upcoming Events: 

  • Bingo – Sundays @ 6:00 pm

Battleground Saugus

With three locations in Massachusetts, Battleground is a well-known tabletop and collectible card gaming center where people can come to play with friends and strangers with similar interests. Their events calendar is packed and on many nights of the week you can join in what they’re doing, you can borrow one of their games, or you can bring and play one of your own! 


Salem Willows Arcade

This Salem favorite is open seasonally from May to October, providing the boardwalk arcade gaming feel that’s nostalgia-inducing and fun for all ages. They have old favorites like galaga and Ms. Pacman as well as interactive games like air hockey and DDR. Plus, if you get hungry you can wander down the strip for some popcorn, pizza, or ice cream. 


In the Game Peabody

In the Game Peabody is a North Shore family fun center – in the vein of Dave and Busters – complete with laser tag, mini-bowling, virtual reality games, a ropes course, and an arcade. On Thursday, they have half-priced games. In the Game also has a full restaurant, bar, and spaces equipped for parties and private events. 


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