Facade at Cobra Arcade Bar in downtown Tucson (Credit: Jackie Tran)
At long last, Tucson will soon have its first bar arcade, or barcade.
Co-owners Ariel “Ari” Bracamonte, Chuckie Duff, and restaurant group Genuine Concepts have partnered up to open Cobra Arcade Bar downtown.
“I can’t wait to be there and open the doors to the people of Tucson,” said Bracamonte, who was born in Tucson and raised in Glendale.
The 5,000-square-foot barcade at 63 E. Congress St. will be the second Cobra Arcade Bar — the first location is in downtown Phoenix. The space previously held JunXion Bar.
Outside will feature a mural by internationally-renowned artist EL MAC. Inside, guests will find an 800-square-foot mezzanine and a bar area filled with art from Tucson artists.
With a personal collection of about 300 arcade games, Bracamonte has plenty to bring to Tucson. Cobra will feature approximately 50 arcade games with the most popular games staying and a few rotating every month.
Popular titles include Pac-Man, Galaga, Frogger, Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat, NBA Jam, Dance Dance Revolution 8th Mix, X-Men, and The Simpsons Arcade Game. Pac-Man Battle Royale will also be featured. Furthermore, about six pinball machines will be added down the line.
Since Bracamonte maintains, repairs, and builds arcade cabinets himself, he’ll also create a few cabinets for console games not typically found at arcades. Current projects include Cuphead, Dragon Ball FighterZ, and Street Fighter V. Additionally, customers will be able to play on PlayStation and Xbox consoles on televisions at the bar.
The cocktail menu will be designed as craft but approachable with local spirits and names inspired by gaming culture. The bar is expected to feature 14 – 20 beer taps.
While the happy hour program will start off similar to Cobra in Phoenix, it will adjust based on Tucson needs. For Token Tuesdays, customers get free tokens with a drink purchase. For Wednesday Ladies Night, females get free tokens. By the way, Tucson’s Cobra will have its own custom-designed tokens:
Although DJs will play on Friday and Saturday nights, Cobra won’t transform into a club.
“There will never be a cover to go into Cobra,” Bracamonte said. “That’s been one of our principles since the beginning. And there’s no bottle service.”
The opening is scheduled for late May or early June. Tentative operating hours will be 4 p.m. – 2 a.m. daily.
Cobra Arcade Bar is located at 63 E. Congress St. Keep up with Cobra Arcade Bar Tucson on Facebook.