SCHENECTADY – The wait is over. Schenectady’s first vegan bar, restaurant, and arcade, Unbeetable, officially opened its doors to the public in downtown Thursday.
Offering a wide selection of vegan food and drinks establishment also has dozens of different video arcade and board games, making it the first business of its kind in the area, said owner Chelsea Heilmann, 33.
“We’re just so happy to be open, very relieved,” Heilmann said. “I’m just really proud of the way everybody has really come together, we’re a very well-oiled machine so far.”
Located at 148 Clinton St., Unbeetable held a soft opening Wednesday, and opened to the public Thursday afternoon. The business is open from 4-10 p.m. on weekdays, and 4-11 p.m. on weekends. Eventually, Heilmann plans to also be open for lunch on weekends as well.
The opening has been a long-time coming. Heilmann had originally hoped to open in June 2022, and then again last spring. She looks at the delays with a positive attitude, saying, “everything happens for a reason.”
Heilmann has been a vegan herself for about eight years. She opened her first vegan restaurant, Take Two Cafe, in Schenectady a little over two years ago. She said she has seen that while many restaurants offer one or two vegan options, it is nice for people to have a whole vegan menu to choose from.
The 2,400-square-foot business has dozens of games, inclduing Ms. Pac-Man, Jurassic Park, fighting games, pinball, basketball, Skee-Ball, crane games, air hockey, ping pong, a large collection of board games on one side of the space, and a large bar and seating area for dining on the other side of it.
“The kitchen has been amazing, all the food and the drinks have really just come together,” Heilmann said. “The hard parts over. When we got our certificate from the city to open, I was like ‘Oh my gosh’ just so happy. I’m really excited for this weekend, with the Greek Fest and the Italian Fest, I think they’re going to be really good for us.”
The all-vegan menu offers items such as, loaded hotdogs, quesadillas, mac and cheeses, tacos, burgers, chicken sandwiches and brownie sundaes, with a variety of different appetizers, main dishes, desserts, drinks and a kids menu.
The concept for thebusiness came from Heilmann’s travels. She had visited a pin-pong bar, which had an Asian-fusian restaurant in the front and numerous ping-pong tables in the back.
Heilmann hopes Unbeetabe will help get families out and give them something fun to do. She said the “cozy and relaxed” atmosphere in the large space will allow for customers to not feel rushed out the door. Customers are able to hangout and enjoy themselves, have dinner, drinks, and play some games. The space has a number of cozy chairs and table spaces for people to play games. Heilmann was able to get a lot of unique, thrifted pieces and wall decorations.
“I haven’t seen a place like this before,” said Don Rameriz, who stopped at Unbeetable Thursday. “There’s all the old school arcade games I used to play. Pretty cool.”
Kristy Thompson brought her two children, 6, and 9, to play games at Unbeetable Thursday. She said that while she is not vegan, she likes that the menu has a lot of options, and that there is a kids menu.
“We’re just playing games today, but we’ll probably come back again and try the food too,” Thompson said. “They’re [her children] are having fun. We just were downtown running some errands and thought we’d check it out. What kid won’t like games, adults too. It’s something different to