Token, Dublin’s famed arcade bar, bids farewell after 8 years


Beloved Dublin arcade restaurant Token announced on Monday afternoon that they’re closing their doors due to the ‘rising costs’ of running the business., tags: dublin's - Instagram/Token.

One of Dublin’s most cherished establishments, Token, is set to close its doors after an eight-year run. Smithfield’s arcade bar houses two bars, 40 entertaining arcades and pinball games, award-winning plant-based and meat-based dishes, and an exceptional ambiance for visitors to enjoy. Adding to the fun, patrons could purchase tokens to access a range of arcade machines, featuring beloved classics like Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and Guitar Hero.

Over the years, the arcade bar has transformed into a social center, hosting an array of themed activities, including trivia nights, mixology challenges, and LGBTQ+ matchmaking events.

On May 20, Token surprised its loyal customers by announcing they would close for good on June 16. Despite consistently being fully booked, the owners revealed that they could no longer sustain the business due to rising costs.

Following the closure announcement, customers flooded social media platforms to voice their disappointment and reminisce about their cherished moments at the venue. Among them, neighboring business Coke Lane Pizza lamented the loss of Token, recognizing its significant contribution to Dublin’s nightlife.

In response to the outpouring of support, Token’s team expressed gratitude to their loyal patrons and pledged to make their final days a celebration of the memories created over the years. They announced special offers on drinks, classic menu items, discounted cocktails, and planned events to ensure a memorable farewell experience for all.

As the closing date drew near, the company urged customers to use their tokens or gift cards before they expired. With the business shutting down, they emphasized the importance of seizing the chance to relive their favorite moments one last time.

Token’s final days

The arcade bar’s shuttering marks another loss for Dublin’s increasingly homogenous nightlife scene, which has seen many establishments close due to high rental costs and archaic licensing laws.  Despite the government’s attempts to revitalize the scene through nightlife economy reforms, these efforts have been marred by delays, leaving establishments like Token struggling to survive.

Even after receiving notice of the closure back in March, the staff at Token remains committed to delivering exceptional service until the very end. Although news of the shutdown brought disappointment, the establishment’s employees reflected on their achievements with a sense of pride and affection for their team.

Despite facing various challenges, such as floods, fires, and even a pandemic, they’ve managed to push through. They’re thankful for the support of their customers during those tough times. Additionally, they appreciate the vibrant community that embraced the establishment’s unique offerings, remaining loyal even when times got tough.

Token’s last day of operation is June 16, leaving Dubliners only a few weeks to savor their favorite arcade games, cocktails, and omni/vegan dishes one last time.

Saying goodbye in style

To make their last days at the arcade bar memorable, the team has planned various special offers for their customers. These include discounted prices on popular drinks, the return of beloved menu items, and even some unexpected events to celebrate their eight-year legacy.

The establishment warmly invites its patrons to visit, share anecdotes of their cherished experiences, and honor the eight-year journey that has left an indelible mark on so many.

The imminent closure of this venue highlights the challenges faced by Dublin’s vibrant nightlife scene, stressing the importance of preserving these cultural treasures amidst escalating expenses and regulatory impediments.

Additionally, the closure underscores the value of protecting Dublin’s distinctive enterprises like Token, which play a pivotal role in shaping the city’s cultural landscape while grappling with the constant pressures of rising costs and regulatory hurdles.

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