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By Stephen Heard
March 06, 2019

Meet Grafton's New 80s-Inspired Craft Beer Bar and Arcade Parlour

More than 30 vintage gaming machines fill the barcade.
By Stephen Heard
March 06, 2019

The old Grafton post office at 224 Symonds Street has seen and farewelled its fair share of tenants. This time rather than changing hands completely, Uptown Freehouse proprietor Evan King has reworked the space from a neighbourhood bar into a "craft beer parlour and amusement arcade," or barcade.

Save Ferris was born from King's love of old school video games and 80s films. He wanted to create a space where pop culture reminded people of easier times, "before social media and 'adulting' took over." If you hadn't already guessed, the name of the venue is a nod to cult 80s film Ferris Bueller's Day Off. To complete the tribute, an image and accompanying quote from the high school wise guy can be found splashed across the wall. A projector has been set up to screens classic films, from Weird Science to Tron and the namesake teen comedy.

Leading the colour-loaded concept bar is a collection of more than 30 retro arcade machines, including six classic pinball units. Gamers can pump their loose coinage into, and attempt to hit new high scores on the likes of Donkey Kong, Sega Rally, Space InvadersFix it Felix and Street Fighter II. King also plans to host tournaments, free play nights and beer related events.

Like King's other establishments — Newmarket's The Lumsden and Mangawhai's Wood Street — craft beer is the main focus. Save Ferris will operate in the same 'free house' style by not being tied down to any particular brewery — at this stage the beer selection includes drops from Epic, Garage Project, Bach Brewing, Behemoth and 8 Wired. For dedicated craft beer followers, you'll also find the Beer Jerk Bunker downstairs which is currently pouring 190 different beers.

The food menu at Save Ferris is incredibly simple, offering only two kinds of hot dogs (vegan and meat), though guests will have the option of pimping their dog with a selection of gourmet sauces and toppings.

Save Ferris is open from March 6 at 224 Symonds Street, Grafton.

Image: Bill Dickinson.

Published on March 06, 2019 by Stephen Heard

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