Chicago-Area Coin-Op Archive

Jim Zespy, Logan Arcade

Logan Arcade
2410 W. Fullerton Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647
(872) 206-2859

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Logan Arcade is a new arcade-bar that opened just February 2014. It features over twenty-five pinball machines and forty-five vintage arcade-games. Owner Jim Zespy collects and restores arcade games, including those in the arcade. His collection started in 2009; he seeks out games from the mid-1970s through the present. He often buys broken arcade machines and fixes them. Any machine that couldn't be fixed is as spare parts to maintenance other arcade machines.

Zespy chooses games to be placed in the arcade based on the games’ popularity with the general public.
He first balanced all different eras, and placed different kinds of games to try to have a balance. Afterward he watched to see which games people gravitated to, then took out the games people didn't like and placed more popular games. Zespy’s daily concern is the maintenance of the arcade machines.

Logan Arcade has its own Local Pinball League, for which the game changes every week. While the league has scoring, and there is some competition, it's meant to encourage participants to play different games, get to know them, and get to know other people. Some players have made major records in the Logan Arcade. These records are on games including Nibbler, Tron Ice Score, and Tetris.

Interview with Jim Zespy completed by Tom Barker on November 21, 2014. Photographs by Wei Shao "Peter" Mei. Transcription by Toby Elgin, Ariana Mayorga, and Brian Moy. The full archive of the interview, including the complete audio file, full transcription, and additional photographs, is available through the IIT Institutional Repository.

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