I grew up in an era of video game arcades. My friends and I spent many hours and quarters attempting to defeat Pac-Man, Space Invaders and all the others. Video games and arcades have come a long way since then.
One of the newest and most high-tech video game lounges opened within walking distance of my place. Ignite is a gaming and esports venue featuring hundreds of PC and console games.
Games come with hardwired mechanical keyboards, award-winning optical mice and noise-canceling headsets. They have 27-inch personal screens with 144Hz refresh rate coupled with beaming fiber internet to deliver super responsive gameplay. Game titles include battle games like The Call of Duty and the Warcraft series, sports games like NBA2K21 and Dirt Rally 2.0 and less intense games like Cuphead and The Sims 4. They have Xbox, Play Station, Twitch and more.
Unlike video arcades from my youth, food and beverages are a big part of the experience at Ignite. With a solid menu of sandwiches, pizza and appetizers, the food could stand alone as a dining outing. It was much better than I expected. They also have many beer and cocktail options. The Nuka Cola Quantum is my favorite. It’s a refreshing mix of light rum, velvet Falernum, pineapple and blue Kool-Aid. Their thick and rich shakes are unbelievably good as is or with various liquors added.
I admit I am not as skilled as some of my friends, but that just means I will have to spend time at Ignite honing my skills. I already spent several hours getting back into game shape, but I still need a few more before I am ready to challenge my friends. Ignite is the perfect place for the practice and the ultimate game challenge with friends.
— John Wroblewski, online writer
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Magdalena, a Maryland Bistro in The Ivy Hotel partnered with Uncle Nearest premium whiskey to create a Preakness-inspired cocktail ahead of this weekend’s event. The Laws and Lilies libation honors the contributions of Black jockeys in the early days of American horse racing. Emmanuel S. West, Jr., director of food & beverage, The Ivy Hotel, crafted the cocktail using Uncle Nearest’s 1856 Premium Whiskey.