TEMPLE, Texas – After delaying their opening for more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, BitBar in Temple is allowing customers to pay with cash, card – and even the newest forms of currency.
“We are starting to take cryptocurrency – including bitcoin, ethereum, and dogecoin,” BitBar co-owner Johnny Huang said.
Huang opened the first BitBar in Killeen in 2015 with a simple goal – open a retro bar to feel like he was back in his childhood.
His games are all the original machines – it’s a $5 flat rate to play as much as you can.
“Well, cryptocurrency is just a de-centralized form of currency. A digital asset,” Huang said. “What that means is that anyone who has crytpo, we can exchange and make payments super fast and super cheap, without going through the traditional banking system.”
In an ironic twist, Huang is using cryptocurrency to make sure their “thing of the past”-themed bar doesn’t become a thing of the past.
“You guys saw what Netflix did to Blockbuster, and we don’t want to be that,” Huang said. “We do want to have the nostalgia of old-school games, not deal with the quarters. Which is why everything is on free play, and we do want to accept all types of currency as long as everybody uses it.”
While cryptocurrency is popular with a young generation, Huang is confident the craze will span a wide array of ages.
“At first, I thought it was just going to be the younger crowd. But I’ve seen 18-year-olds to 80-year-olds taking crypto from etherum and bitcoin,” Huang said. “Across the board, we have all kinds of customers that come in here, young and old, and everybody uses it.”
BitBar is open seven days a week, from 6:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.