On Oct. 12, Unbeetable, a vegan bar and arcade in downtown Schenectady, celebrated its official ribbon cutting since opening in early September.
Led by the Capital Region Chamber, Unbeetable and its owner Chelsea Heilmann were given recognition for bringing something to Schenectady that all ages can enjoy while also enjoying a variety of unique vegan food.
President of the Chamber, Mark Egan said you don’t find something like this on every street in the Capital Region.
“It’s something that is unique so it can be part of a destination,” Egan said. “Now we have a variety of options so if someone is meeting up with friends, they can just say ‘let’s meet in downtown Schenectady and decide what we do,’ so it adds to the flavor of downtown.”
The new “barcade” features dozens of games including Pac-Man, Jurassic Park, fighting games, pinball, basketball, Skee-Ball, crane games, air hockey, ping pong, a large collection of board games on one side of the space, and a large bar and seating area for dining on the other side of it.
“I don’t think anyone thought we needed this,” Egan added. “But now that it’s here, I think it’s going to be warmly embraced and if you look at the games, it’s going to appeal to multiple generations.”
Heilmann said her vision was to bring something to Schenectady that was different.
“You know, more of something to do rather than just a place to drink,” she said. “An interactive space where you can bring family, friends and have those conferences so we are just really excited to make this place a destination, especially with our vegan food.”
The all-vegan menu offers items such as, loaded hotdogs, quesadillas, mac and cheeses, tacos, burgers, chicken sandwiches and brownie sundaes, with a variety of different appetizers, main dishes, desserts, drinks and a kids menu.
Before cutting the ribbon, Heilmann gave credit and thanks to Jeff Buell and the Redburn Development Partners, saying it couldn’t have been done without him or his support.
Buell’s business owns the building in which houses Unbeetable, which prior to renovations, was underutilized and needed work.
“When we were trying to figure out what to do with the space, I went to Chelsea and said ‘remember that barcade idea you had a bunch of years ago?,’,” he said. “So we are hyper-focused on creating high-impact experiences on the streetlevel of our downtowns because you can’t have cool downtowns without a highly impactful space, so this space is incredible.”
With bright colors and block letters with a pac-man like logo with pixelated food and beer images, the space stands out and is different from the other downtown options.
The Interim Executive Director of the Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation, Carney McGuire said the owner’s entrepreneurship and the space are what the community needs.
“Take Two Cafe, which is one of her original ones, has been so proactive in being involved with the community, her food is fantastic and they show up for everything,” she said. “So she’s got that here; people know who she is, they know the food is really great and high quality but I think a place like this will be very attractive to people who just don’t want to go home right away or those who just want to play games or have a drink.”
Unbeetable, located at 148 Clinton St. is open from 4-10 p.m. on weekdays, and 4-11 p.m. on Fridays and 12- 11 p.m. on Saturdays.