Cidercade Fort Worth, 1813 W Bowie St, FW. 682-707-5491. 10am-10pm Sun, 10am-12am Mon-Thu, 10am-1am Fri-Sat.
It started in early 2021 with Smokestack 1948. The cocktail lounge and craft beer taproom that also doubles as a venue/beer garden opened at 2836 Stanley Ave., in a part of the TCU area near Berry Street and 8th Avenue that wasn’t known for nightlife at the time. Then came Lola’s Fort Worth. The West 7th venue relocated to the building that formerly housed Berry Street Ice House and began offering gourmet hot dogs and more via Food at Lola’s.
Both popular hangouts are within walking distance of District 90. The 45,000-square-foot refurbished industrial building houses multiple businesses, including Splinters Axes and Ales, where you can knock back a pint while throwing sharp objects at wooden targets and wooden targets only, and now Cidercade. Even on a Monday evening, the venture of Dallas’ Bishop Cider was hoppin’.
Admission is $10 and includes all-day access to nearly 300 arcade games. The place is massive and bathed in neon lights. Just past the admissions booth, my guest and I ordered draught ciders. The Texas Strawberry was fizzy, fruity, and not too sweet, and the Ciderdaze was a boozy apple-kissed delight.
Slightly buzzing, we dived into several rounds of The Simpsons, Killer Instinct, and Tekken. My gaming skills were as lacking as they were back in the mid ’90s, but it was fun to relive some of my favorite games as a youth.
After passing through a brightly lit tunnel, we arrived at a cavernous room that easily housed 150 pinball machines, racing video games, and other electronic amusements. Cidercade offers 10 pizzas, a small variety of pizza rolls, two salads, and a few desserts. The options are priced between $8 and $12.
Our four personal pizzas came out piping hot and dressed in garlic-infused olive oil. The Mediterranean was accentuated by salty Kalamata olives and bits of feta but otherwise lacked robust flavors.
The Pear + Prosciutto was a lively mix of richly reduced balsamic vinegar, pungent but not overpowering goat cheese, bits of diced basil, and slices of sweet pears melting in the mozzarella. My only wish was that the kitchen had used more prosciutto. The Italian-style pork was hardly discernible as I greedily devoured every slice.
True to form, the Meat Lover’s option was laden with juicy proteins. Crumbles of bacon sat atop chunks of Italian sausage, diced Canadian bacon, and generous portions of pepperoni. Every bite was a savory and smoky delight.
The Pepperoni + Honey was basically a well-crafted pepperoni pizza. The honey was barely noticeable, which was a shame because sweet plus savory is delightful.
The crust on each order was perfectly baked — lightly charred on the edges and slightly chewy throughout.
Accompanying the superlative pies were two more beverages: a bold pineapple cider that was tart and fragrant and a seltzer, Blackberry Tea, with a kiss of blackberry and minimal sweetness.
Next up were racing video games and an attempt at Darius Burst, a surprisingly complex Japanese Space Invaders-type game that did not come with English instructions. A Cidercade staffer noticed our dumbfounded expressions and helped us pick the appropriate color level. “Beginner” is blue.
Cidercade Fort Worth
Pepperoni pizza $10
Mediterranean pizza $12
Meat Lover’s pizza $12
Pear + Prosciutto $12
Blackberry Tea $7