Ground Kontrol is one of the largest classic arcades in the world and a popular Portland tourist attraction. If you’re visiting for the first time, you may find the following information useful.
Planning Your Trip
Before making your trip, be sure to check our online events calendar. Although we are normally open every day from Noon until 2:30AM, we do occasionally close our doors for private parties and special events.
Getting to Ground Kontrol
Ground Kontrol is located in the historic Old-Town/Chinatown neighborhood on the north end of downtown:
Bike: We recommend planning your trip using Bycycle.Org.
Bus: We are 4 blocks due south of the Greyhound bus station. You can walk down NW 6th Ave. or take the free MAX train on 5th Ave. to the Couch St. station.
Plane: We’re about 12 miles from PDX. For auto directions, see above. If taking the MAX (light-rail) red line, we recommend dropping off your baggage at your hotel first. The arcade can get pretty busy, and you won’t want to lug baggage through the crowd!
Public Transit: We are conveniently located on Portland’s “Bus Mall” which served by numerous bus routes and the MAX yellow and green light-rail lines.
We are also 6 blocks from the Old Town/Chinatown MAX Station on the red and blue light-rail lines. Use Trimet’s Trip Planner to find the most convenient route!
Train: We are 6 blocks due south of Amtrak’s Union Station. You can walk down NW 6th Ave. or take the free MAX train on 5th Ave. to the Couch St. station.
Space Ship: To obtain clearance for our rooftop landing pad contact our approach AI (Able) at 2600 GHz. Invaders and members of the Gorfian Empire are not welcome and will be shot on sight.
Food Near Ground Kontrol
GK will be serving hot dogs and other fine arcade fare soon! Until then, you’ll have to visit one of our neighbors:
Davis Street Tavern
La Jarochita: a great little Mexican food cart, just 5 blocks away. If you’re not in the mood for Mexican, there are several other carts at SW 5th & Stark (daytime hours only).
Voodoo Donuts: home of the infamous maple-glazed long john. Be prepared to wait for your sugar fix – there’s usually a line! Open ’til ?, ? blocks from GK.
Hotels Near Ground Kontrol
There are a number of places to stay that are an easy walk or light-rail ride away:
Other Attractions Near Ground Kontrol
Once you’ve had your fill of pinball and video games, or if you just need to take a break, there are lots of things to do and see near GK:
Floating World Comics: a gem of a comic book shop.
Just Be/Compound: Japanese toys, vintage Nike sneakers, and an art gallery upstairs, all next door.
Upper Playground: T-shirts and an art gallery.
The 24 Hour Church Of Elvis: a Portland institution, just one block east of GK!
Powell’s: world’s largest bookstore, just 5 blocks west. Being nerds, we prefer Powell’s Technical Books, which is only 3 blocks away.
Portland Chinese Garden:
Historic Old Town: walk east on Couch St. to NW 1st Ave., then follow the train tracks south to see some of Portland’s oldest buildings.
Waterfront Park: the city wisely tore down the waterfront freeway and replaced it with a park that overlooks the river for the entire length of downtown. A great place for a relaxing walk, or sit on a bench and watch the people go by.