Limerick arcade bar reopening with a little help from some friends

Section of the newly re-opened Level Up Bar and Arcade.

THE SPIRIT of cooperation has led to a unique Limerick bar reopening in a new location in the city.

Last week, Level Up Arcade Bar announced on social media that they would be reopening in Hunter’s Sports Bar on O’Connell Street following their closure in January.

At that time, the cost of energy bills and after-effects of the pandemic were cited as reasons leading to the popular venue closing its doors.

Level Up owner Alan O’Grady told the Limerick Post that the former location on Courtbrack Avenue made things difficult due its distance from the city centre and the cost of rates in the city meant moving out on his own wasn’t an option.

“We couldn’t really survive where we were, because of the way things have gone and the distance we were outside of town. We also couldn’t afford to go into the centre of town because it’s crazy expensive and rates are mental in there,” he says.

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The arcade bar has now found a new home in the basement of Hunters Sports Bar, which Alan says he hopes will be beneficial to both businesses.

“I was approached by Robert from Hunters who said ‘what do you think about merging?’”

“We came up with a deal where he would use our brand and our machines and our concept and we would use his concept and make it into one superpub.”

Mr O’Grady also explained that insurance was a big driver behind the previous Level Up closure, due to the upper floors of the rented premises containing apartments which shared communal doors with the popular entertainment venue.

As with many businesses, the increasing cost of electricity was another catalyst in the bar’s closing down.

Rising energy bills made it necessary for Alan to cut staff in an attempt to keep up with the bills, going from 17 staff to just five staff by the time they closed.

“My original electricity was €1,200 a month, it went up to €2,700,” he says.

He hopes teaming up with an already established business in a busier location will help both thrive in the face of an uncertain economic future.

Mr O’Grady added that the remaining staff from Level Up will be part of the move to Hunters.

Level Up Arcade Bar will have its grand reopening this Friday night (March 10).