NBA Jam. Vodka. Donkey Kong. Craft Beer. Street Fighter. Whiskey. Sega. 7 things you can soon enjoy simultaneously thanks to Abari. (Hopefully) opening soon, Abari is Charlotte’s first barcade concept establishment. It will be exactly what you’re hoping it will be – an arcade, just like you enjoyed as a kid, coupled with a full service bar that will serve you delicious drinks while you try and get the coveted high score on Galaga.
I sat down with owner Zach Pulliam to get the scoop and was able to snap some sweet sneak peek pics.
- Zach is a 2009 UNCC grad who left a career in IT to pursue his dream of owning Abari – way to go Zach!
- Abari will feature about 24 arcade games and 7 pinball machines
- Arcade games will go for $0.25 and pinball $0.50
- On Saturdays and Sundays from 12-5pm Abari will be open to all ages (with adult supervision) but will otherwise be 21+
- Occasionally they’ll have “free play” nights scheduled where you can pay a cover – estimated $5 – and enjoy free play on the arcade games
- “Private club” with annual membership of $1 (think Jeff’s Bucket Shop)
- Full bar with local beers on tap, never-ending PBR, and a fun cocktail menu featuring “drinks for the girlfriends” – I love this concept, thank you Zach for thinking of us too!
- No kitchen, but looking to partner with local food trucks and delivery services
- Located at 1721 N. Davidson St. in the Villa Heights neighborhood, adjacent to NoDa and just outside of Uptown
- Plenty of parking in the adjacent dedicated parking lot – this is an advantage Abari has over other Villa Heights & NoDa late night spots, yay parking!
- All of the games and machines were purchased over time by Zach from various spots like Craigslist, video game auctions, and online gamer groups. Many of the games were not in working condition when purchased, so Zach repaired them all himself
- The design on the outside of the building was painted by Charlotte artist William Puckett
A photo posted by Abari Game Bar (@abarigamebar) on
- Check out the full list of games here
Zach and team don’t have an opening date scheduled yet due to zoning hang-ups and they’re waiting until that’s all sorted out before they begin working on the inside of the space. As soon as the official stuff with the city is out of the way, Zach estimates the cosmetic transformation will only take a few weeks, and hopefully they’ll be open sometime in the summer.
Here’s to long nights spent saving the princess from Donkey Kong and sipping on PBR. Cheers, gamers.
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