Health levels should rise once gamers check out the menu at FTW, the video game arcade/restaurant from the folks behind Lucky Strike Entertainment that's opening at 4 p.m. There's an extensive menu of small plates and entrees to accompany craft cocktails, wine and draft beer.
FTW shares the same hallway with Lucky Strike and the AMC River East 21 movie theaters, but FTW's midway dazzles much more with arcade sounds and neon lighting through a Steampunk-inspired wonderland. While vintage arcade bars are the rage, the games at FTW like — Sega's "Showdown," a "Batman" racer and "Star Wars Battle Pod" — use the latest technology with flashy graphics and high-resolution video screens. No tokens here — customers power up cards and swipe to play at each machine.
A sign reading "Chemist" stands above the DJ booth, blaring an assortment of tunes in front of three communal tables. If the games weren't enough stimulation, a 106-foot video screen stands behind the main bar. Those seeking refuge from the sensory overload can find shelter in four private rooms that feel more like a swanky living room with windows offering stunning views of the city, and FTW will offer food and drink packages in them. Then there's City Golf 312, the mini-golf course that converts models of city landmarks (Art Institute, Lake Shore Drive, Millennium Park, etc) into putting holes.
FTW is aiming for elevated food, with a rotating burger of the month, and main courses like truffle chicken and "dumplings" (roasted chicken, gnocchi, artichoke hearts, Béchamel and truffle butter). But those familiar with Lucky Strike's menu will see similarities, like sliders, but FTW offers a Sloppy Joe iteration with cumin-seasoned beef, coffee and chilies between a brioche bun. There's also cart service featuring tasting portions of the menu.
The drink list features standbys like an Old Fashioned, but also new items like the Lobo Picante (Montelobos Mezcal with Ancho Reyes chili liqueur served in a Smoky Black salted-rim glass). There's whisky on tap, as well as a selection of draft beers from MillerCoors mixed in with selections from Founders, Two Brothers and Baderbräu.
FTW is all ages until 8 p.m. After then, customers will have to be at least 21 years old.
Check out the full menus below to determine if FTW's food and drink is enough to power up Streeterville.