The West Loop/Fulton Market is getting an arcade bar at the expense of losing a cocktail lounge and restaurant, as The Betty will close on Saturday to make room for Emporium Arcade Bar’s third location. The Betty opened in 2015 and its most-popular drink may have been the DIY gin and tonics that customers would mix at their tables using medicine droppers. Emporium is targeting a mid-fall opening at 839 W. Fulton Market.
Emporium brings a mix of craft beer, vintage video game cabinets, and pinball machines to its establishments in Wicker Park and Logan Square. Like its other two locations, Fulton Market won’t serve food. Back in 2012, it was the first bar in Chicago to bring the video game/bar concept to the city. The new location should also feature foosball, air hockey, and pool tables, according to a news release. Emporium is also behind the Stranger Things pop-up that will end on Oct. 1 in Logan Square after Netflix’s attorneys threw their legal weight around.
The new location represents a partnership with Emporium’s team and The Betty’s owners. Footman Hospitality also runs establishments including Sparrow in Gold Coast and Bangers & Lace in Wicker Park and Evanston. In a prepared statement, Emporium co-owner Danny Marks said they were excited to open in Fulton Market, an area known for “some of the best restaurants in the world.” The street, which underwent road construction earlier this year to make it more pedestrian friendly, features trendy restaurants including Next Restaurant, The Publican, and Duck Duck Goat.
In a separate statement Footman’s Jason Freiman said that Emporium will fill a void in the neighborhood. It will likely be the first venue — via video games — in the West Loop/Fulton Market area to bring an interactive entertainment element to the area. That’s somewhat surprising, as Punch Bowl Social announced plans to open nearby in December inside a space ticketed for Brooklyn Bowl. Meanwhile, management urges fans to check out Emporium Fulton Market’s website, which wasn’t live on Tuesday morning, for updates on when it’ll open.