In Bars & Clubs

It's time to get your last games in at Milwaukee's retro video arcade bar. (PHOTO: Matt Mueller)

1983 Arcade Bar to close at the end of Bucks' season, new bar on the way

This article was updated on May 14, 2019 with additional information from Edward DeShazer.

It's time to get in your last few old school arcade games at 1983 Arcade Bar, 1110 N. Old World 3rd St.

The arcade will be closing its doors at the end of the Bucks' basketball season.

The reason? Owner Michael Sampson says he received and accepted an offer to purchase from Edward DeShazer.

DeShazer is president of Venture Fifth, a nascent company focused on investing in local restaurants and bars. The company is currently an investor in No. 720, Lost Whale and the Paella Police food truck. He is also the executive director of Greater Holy Temple Christian Academy, a school envisioned by his brother Rev. Joseph R. DeShazer and founded by his father Pastor James DeShazer.

"It was an offer I couldn't refuse," he noted, quoting "The Godfather." "It was a dream of mine to open an arcade bar and we had a great run of 18 months, but I am excited to pass the reins to a good friend of mine that will bring a great business to our 3rd Street location."

Sampson says that, due to the bar's proximity to the Deer District, it will remain open until June 1, or later, depending on how far the Bucks can take their run.

"Please come support us and play some arcade classics and pinball one last time during the month of May," he noted. "Thank you Milwaukee for your amazing support and Go Bucks!"

For more information and full list of games, visit

New concept on the way

When we spoke with DeShazer about his intentions for the venue, he indicated that plans are to reopen it as a brand new bar concept.

"Most of the bars on Old World Third Street cater to the sports crowd," DeShazer notes, "But there's a demographic of people that aren't well served by the current venues. So our goal is to bring a bit of diversity to the scene for folks who want something different before or after concerts and games."

DeShazer noted that he'll be working with an established hospitality group to bring the concept to fruition. Specific details are still being fully fleshed out, he noted, but he did say that the new concept will include well-executed cocktail component similar to that found at local venues like Lost Whale.

DeShazer says he expects more information will be available in the next month or two. The goal, he says, is to open the venue no later than the second week of August.

Watch OnMilwaukee for additional details as they are available.


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