One thing about Level Up that makes it so awesome is that it’s not Taylor’s, Rennie’s or Maxx’s. No offense to the beginner’s triangle of bars on campus, but Level Up is just a few more blocks away and offers much more of a good time. In fact, I’d argue it’s the best bar in Eugene, period.
More than just a videogame arcade, Level Up is a spacious bar and lounge that offers something for everyone. It has a bunch of widescreen TV’s and a circular bar, which makes it a great place to watch the Ducks, the Blazers and other sports teams that don’t matter as much. As for music, they have weekly DJ nights, including Hip-Hop with DJ Foodstamp on Fridays and Rock and Roll Damnation on Saturdays. Karaoke is also popular on Tuesday nights if you want to confirm your terrible singing voice.
Let’s go over the drinks. Level Up offers more than just your average pedestrian cocktails. If you want to be a little more sophisticated, try one of the specials, such as The Hailmary (a bloody mary with jalapeno and cilantro infused vodka), the Super Fresh (a lemonade style cocktail with strawberry and vanilla bean infused vodka) or my personal favorite the Princess Peach (a peach lemon drop with peach vodka and muddled jalapenos). So what if it’s girly? Haters gon hate.
For beer drinkers, Level Up features all Oregon brewed beers on tap (bonus points). They also have some standards available such as Pabst, Corona and Coors for those of you who can’t bring yourself to be adventurous. As for drink specials, happy hour is 3pm to 6pm everyday. On Wednesdays well drinks are easy on your wallet and on Monday nights there’s a service industry special for anyone with a valid OLCC or Food Handler’s card. If you’re hungry, there’s a pretty decent bar food menu as well.
Now we can talk videogames. Level Up has 150+ arcade games, including all the nostalgic classics, fighting and racing games, new age shooters, pinball machines, arcade basketball, pool tables and more. Personally, I enjoy playing Buck Hunter HD with barbeque stains on my t-shirt or swelling my own ego whilst beating my girlfriend at air hockey. If you’re a minor, fret not. The under 21 crowd is allowed until 9pm, so you can sip on your root beer and beat all the games you couldn’t when you were six years old.
All around, I have to say that Level Up is the best place to grab a drink and enjoy yourself in a laidback, non-pretentious atmosphere. The place does get busy, but not in an annoying girls twerking and guys taking off their shirts kind of way. There’s great music, a great selection of beer and cocktails, and a plethora of games to keep you entertained. The staff is pretty awesome too, comprised of guys and girls with tattoos, an assortment of beards and some very witty personalities. Have one of them make you a drink asap, and don’t forget to tip your bartender. Cheers.
Location: 1290 Oak St, Eugene, OR 97401
Hours of Operation: Sun-Sun: 2pm-2am