Retro New West: Capital City Arcade & Anny’s Dairy Bar

Retro New west

Retro: something that is imitative of a style, fashion, or design from the recent past.

It could just be that Capital City Arcade has been transported to modern-day New West‒straight out of an 80’s flick. Or, maybe more likely, this new fixture to Sapperton is an overt homage to our never ending obsession for all things retro. We’re assuming the latter.

When you step into Anny’s Dairy Bar in the heart of Uptown, you’ll wonder for a second: Have I been transported to the past, where the owners of restaurants know their patrons’ names and their regular orders? The answer is no. 

As we countdown the days until the next Vancouver Retro Gaming Expo, we’ll examine the retro aspects of our city that remain. In particular, we will discuss the places that exude both nostalgia and familiarity for us. We’ll examine the aspects of a place, aside from it’s style, design and trendiness, that makes it retro; because sometimes it’s more about the feeling a place gives off than when or where it originated from. 

Capital City Arcade

Address: 457 East Columbia Street

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Think back to the days when a Friday or Saturday night was spent playing video games and eating junk food with friends. Capital City Arcade makes it easy for you to bring that very tradition back! The neon colours, bright lights and bulky machines of our past are located right inside the store, providing a retro oasis for those looking to escape our fast-paced and modernized world. Capital City Arcade taps into the parts of our lives that we’ve forgotten. They make it cool for us to celebrate the things we once loved. 

So come here for over 60 classic arcade games like Tron, Pacman, Donkey Kong and more. Classic arcade games from the 70s, 80s, and 90s are to be found here, with a small selection of pinball machines to be tried out, too! And don’t forget: you’ll also get to experience New West’s first ever “Design Your Own” Nacho Bar. With endless hours of games to play and various options for food and drink, Capital City Arcade has nailed down the retro vibe.

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Anny’s Dairy Bar

Address: 722 6th Street

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Sometimes the best meals are the ones that are the simplest. Anny from Anny’s Dairy Bar has one, very important philosophy: master something and then stick to it. It’s better to do one thing perfectly right than to do multiple things wrong. That’s why Anny’s Dairy Bar is amazing. If you want the BEST Montreal-style fare in British Columbia, you have to come here. You’ll fall in love with the poutine, the smoked meat sandwiches and of course, the signature maple twist cone. 

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You may be wondering: what makes Anny’s place the epitome of retro? For us, it’s about the character of the joint; it’s the feeling you get when you walk into the store. The hand painted walls, the simple yet true-to-its-word menu, the server up front who knows your name and exactly what you want—these qualities are hard to come by in 2019 and they need to be acknowledged! 

Before rapid modernization and before the invention of chains and franchises in Canada, places like Anny’s existed and thrived. There is nothing better than going to a place where you feel appreciated and special and that is one thing Anny’s Dairy Bar does impeccably. And we’re not the only ones who feel that way, since New West natives have been going to the joint regularly for many years now. To us, that sort of thing is uber retro. 


So, what sort of retro things do you appreciate and can they be found in the Royal City? Stay tuned for another discussion on the things that make New West utterly retro. For the time being, support the local businesses mentioned and mark your calendars for the next VRGE: June 20th, 2020.