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Last night, Ground Kontrol hosted a five-year anniversary party celebrating the half-decade since the downtown "barcade" underwent significant renovation. Ground Kontrol took the opportunity to announce a major new development: It's extending to the adjacent building, taking over the former space of all-ages cafe/venue Backspace, which has been sitting empty since Backspace shuttered its doors on Halloween 2013. The expansion will extend Ground Kontrol's size by 4,000 square feet, and will add a second entrance on the NW 5th/Backspace side of the facility.

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This has been a long time coming for Ground Kontrol, and serves to ease the pain that Portlanders felt whenever they walked by the abandoned Backspace, a beloved spot that went away too soon. While it's not the all-ages music venue that the city desperately needs, it is a worthy use of the site and a great development for Ground Kontrol. The expansion is slated to open this summer. Portland Monthly reports:

The new area will house an expanded concrete and steel bar, with a dozen high tech, super-cooled taps and built-in video displays, along with a retail area selling merchandise and classic console games.

The owners expect to move certain games and pinball machines from the overcrowded NW Couch building, and acquire at least three gigantic new games that they previously didn’t have space for: the two-player flight simulator Star Wars Battle Pod, a new shooter called Aliens Armageddon, and a '90s driving simulator called Lucky & Wild, where one player drives while the other shoots.

Let's hope they expand their already formidable pinball selection, and continue the DJ bookings that make the space so much more than just an arcade with booze. The development also serves as a shot across the bow for the upcoming Quarterworld (in the old Mt. Tabor/Alhambra Theater space) across town, which is scheduled to open next month.

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