Look Inside NoMa’s Electrifying New Game-Filled Bar

This article first appeared in Eater DC on June 20, 2018

The Eleanor, opening soon, has mini-bowling, Skee-Ball, and more

Inquisitive neighbors who keep pressing their faces up against the glass at the Eleanor to catch a glimpse of the giant video games and mini-bowling lanes inside won’t have to wait too much longer to pump all their money into the buzzing machines.

Founder Adam Stein won’t say exactly when he plans to welcome the public to the game-filled bar he’s brought to NoMa (100 Florida Avenue NE), but assures Eater the fun-loving venue should debut before the end of this week. Stein has begun bringing in friends for preview nights. On June 19 he hosted a primary election returns watch party for D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton — one of the inspiring women he says his dream restaurant is designed to honor.

“I can’t get over it,” Norton tells Eater of the unexpected tribute.

The self-styled Eleanor shares some things in common with its predecessor Bar Elena, including certain menu items as well as similar electronic diversions, but also works in new additions.

The twin bowling lanes Stein had installed at the far end of the narrow space are his crowning achievement. Shaving that attraction in half — Stein originally wanted to have four bowling lanes — allowed him to create an area that is now home to a basketball game, Golden Tee machine, Big Buck HD video hunting game, and two Skee-Ball cabinets. He’s also sprinkled other games throughout including Mortal Kombat 3, a four-player Pac-Man Battle Royale with a massive screen, and assorted pinball machines. All the games, including the mini-bowling, can be charged to refillable game cards that provide nine credits per dollar. Games such as Mortal Kombat require three credits to play, while the Pac-Man Battle Royale runs eight credits per turn.

The Eleanor is projected to operate from 4 p.m. till at least 2 a.m. to start. Stein says lunch and brunch service should follow in the coming weeks.

Scroll down to look around the bowling-obsessed restaurant:

The bar at the Eleanor has seating for over a dozen cocktail lovers and slushie fans.
There’s a digital jukebox and a projection screen in the main dining room at the Eleanor.
Founder Adam Stein says this corner of the Eleanor can be transformed into a stage for visiting musical acts by removing the tables in loading in equipment via the rolling garage doors.
Eleanor founder Adam Stein says he’s working on adding a new Star Wars machine to the pinball zone.
Tables line the passageway leading from the main dining room at the Eleanor to the mini-bowling lanes.
Bowling enthusiasts at the Eleanor can relax on leather sofas and benches while waiting for their turn.
The men’s room at the Eleanor includes images from bowling comedy “Kingpin,” as well as a shot of late President Richard Nixon bowling at the White House.

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