Sidelined by Health Department, Two-Bit’s Retro Arcade Promises to Return

For Two-Bit’s Retro Arcade, the truth surrounding its closure last month is available for the public to see. Ownership pasted a more detailed explanation about the Department of Health inspection and the ultimate decision to drop the hammer.

Inspectors dropped by the Essex Street arcade in late-November and wasted little time in closing on the grounds of “operating without a permit.” Those token closure stickers followed, and Two-Bit’s installed some window dressing to obstruct the view of the interior. Initial reasoning provided by ownership was fairly ambiguous, stating a weekend closure was necessary for “renovations and upgrades to our health and liquor licenses.”

The real cause for the closure was apparently a snafu with paperwork. An updated announcement at 153 Essex Street goes much further, though, and also notes that they should be reopening in the coming days.

Dear Two-Bit’s patrons, due to a series of unfortunate events, there were errors in our paperwork to renew our health permit. We are proactively working towards correcting these issues and are certainly planning to re-open as fas as possible.

We will be taking this time to perform maintenance and repairs to our arcade line-up, as well as some cosmetic updates. We hope to re-launch within the next week or so…

The Barcade lookalike first opened in December 2012. Two years later, it lost two lives, so to speak, when it twice closed for “renovation” work. It’s also worth noting that, since opening, ownership also applied for a liquor license upgrade on several occasions – most recently in September 2016 – but ultimately met opposition from Hell Square locals and denial by Community Board 3.