It’s been three years, but Cobra Arcade Bar will finally become reality for owners Nico Paredes and Ariel Bracamonte when it opens at the end of April.
The longtime friends always knew they wanted to open up a business together, but weren’t sure what kind. After Paredes moved back from Los Angeles, the two saved up enough money and decided it was time to open the business they’ve been dreaming of.
They noticed that bars with arcades were starting to trend around the country, and they wanted to bring that to the Roosevelt Arts District.
“I grew up going to the arcades in Mexico, and it was a big part of my childhood, and when I saw those big cabinets again, I was like, ‘Yeah, this is what we should do,’” Paredes says.
These first time business owners ran into hurdles along the way, but that didn’t stop them from accomplishing what they set out to do.
“We had found the perfect spot for it, actually signed a lease. Come to find out that nobody knew the arts district zoning had changed for the area,” Paredes says.
Because the arts district was shrunk down to a smaller area, the original building they chose was too close to a high school.
“The ordinance wouldn’t have mattered if the zoning hadn’t changed and was still in the arts district, but we had to take that into consideration, so we couldn’t actually open there,” Paredes says.
Finding the perfect investor was a challenge because many times ideas and personalities just didn’t match, Paredes says. Eventually they found Jeremiah Gratza, director of operations at Stateside Presents. He found out about the project through a mutual friend and was interested in the idea, being a video game enthusiast himself.
After a couple of years, the owners and investors came to an agreement and Gratza signed on as a partner in the project. He even put them in contact with the building owner, who offered to help them out with some of the construction costs, Paredes says.
Even though the building doesn’t have a kitchen, they plan on using other resources around town to bring food to their customers, including bringing in food trucks from around town to come out on the weekends, Paredes says.
“We’re going to have some signature drinks, as well, that are specifically made for us. We’re developing that as we speak. We’re also going to have 10 to15 beer taps with some of the nice, local beers. We’re definitely going to have a house draft,” Paredes says.
Walking into Cobra Arcade Bar should be nostalgic. They will have the games you played as a kid (or still play now), including Ms. Pac-Man, Centipede, Tempest, Paperboy, The Simpsons, Street Fighter, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and more.
“It’s going to be a really good mixture of fun and classic and really rare games,” Paredes says.
They plan on having video game, skee-ball, and pinball tournaments, movie screenings and video game documentaries, and even host an event for Comicon, Paredes says.
COBRA ARCADE BAR, 801 N. Second Street, Phoenix, 623.206.3522, facebook.com/cobraarcade