Rusty Quarters to close Thursday

SIMON PETER GROEBNER | Updated 11/4/2013

The classic video arcade in Uptown will end its nearly two-year run.

Rusty Quarters' Sage and Annie Spirtos.
Star Tribune

Looks like it's time to get in your last dose of the golden age of video arcade games at Rusty Quarters (818 W. Lake St., Mpls.).

After two rocky years in business, the Twin Cities' only arcade featuring classic 1980s games like Donkey Kong, Burger Time and Centipede announced last Friday that it would close on Thursday.

"This Wednesday will be our last day open to the public and we will be shutting our doors on Thursday (Nov. 7)," reads a statement from owners Sage and Annie Spirtos on the arcade's Facebook page. "We fought as long as we could but due to lack of admission/sales we have no other alternative but to close Rusty Quarters. We would like to thank everyone that supported your local Family Arcade for the past two years."

RQ's remaining posted hours are 3-10 p.m. this Tuesday and Wednesday, with $5 admission ($3 after 9 p.m.).

The news was sudden, but not entirely unexpected. The arcade's short history seemed to consist of one crisis after another, with fundraising efforts and a couple of pricing changes. An inflation-acknowledging increase from 25 to 50 cents per game in mid-2012 was well overdue. Then last month, the arcade adopted a reasonable $5 "free play" flat-rate admission, warning that if it didn't work, the arcade would be forced to close in November.

Still, attendance remained up and down, and the undoubtedly high rent at the arcade's narrow space near the intersection of Lake Street and Bryant Avenue in Uptown was probably a major liability. It's unclear whether the $5 free-play scheme improved the financial picture, but judging from this news, it was too little, too late.

Quashing any hopes for an 11th-hour solution, RQ added two additional tidbits: The space already has a new tenant lined up, and the Spirtos are already taking offers to purchase their machines (about 30 in all) starting Monday. Interested buyers can email them at info@rqarcade.com.

Here at Vita.mn, we'd like to get our hands on their classic dual-player games Joust and Mario Bros. (the non-Super, original Donkey Kong spinoff), if we had anywhere to put them.