Jacqueline Devine, Las Cruces Sun-News
Published 11:23 p.m. MT May 9, 2019 | Updated 5:38 p.m. MT May 10, 2019
Rad Retrocade, a bar and arcade, and the first of its kind in Las Cruces, is set to open by the end of May or early June.
Jacqueline Devine, Las Cruces Sun-News
LAS CRUCES – Rad Retrocade, the highly anticipated bar and arcade is slated to open by the end of May or early June.
Located at 201 N. Main St., next door to the Rio Grande Theatre, in downtown Las Cruces, the site is still undergoing a few finishing touches.
The unique entertainment venue will feature 44 arcade video games, from different eras — “Pac-Man,” “Galaga,” “Mario Kart” and “Mortal Kombat,” to name a few. The venue will also feature vintage pinball machines, basketball shooting games and Skee-Ball.
The establishment is the brainchild of Alex Macias, a former high school English teacher and tennis coach from El Paso High School who says he never grew up.
The concept started in Macias’s garage and slowly turned into Rad Retrocade — a nostalgic play land for adults that takes them back to their childhoods.
A tribute to the 80’s and 90’s
Macias, a New Mexico State University alum, said the venue will be a tribute to the era he and his wife, Mariana, grew up in, and in his opinion, the greatest era — the 1980’s and 1990’s.
“Almost 10 years ago I realized that you can start buying arcade games. When you’re a kid in the 80’s you wonder how they work, they’re almost like magic. You never believe that you can own one in your house,” Macias said. “It was one of those things that you never think is feasible until you get older. I just started collecting them and they started creeping their way into the house. I have a really cool wife and she asked why don’t I just build an arcade in the garage.”
Macias and his wife started with 19 arcade video games and seven pinball machines in their family home and started hosting 80’s-themed parties. He said the rest was history.
“At the time, ‘barcades’ were just coming up. Barcade, The Original Arcade Bar, had just opened (in New York) and they were gaining speed. I wish I was the genius who came up with the idea because now they’re popping up everywhere,” Macias said. “It was just my love for arcades and the retro theme is really coming back so I thought it would be a cool thing to do — to merge the two, and the downtown location would be a good spot to do it.”
About the site
Macias said he was contacted by the Las Cruces Community Partners who heard Rubiks Arcade Bar had just opened in El Paso, and saw an opportunity to open one in Las Cruces to revitalize downtown.
“My wife and I came down for several months to meet with them and came up with an agreement that the old JCPenney building would be the spot and we started designing the bar,” Macias said. “We signed a lease and an agreement and now we’re here.”
The ground floor of the 11,100-square-foot, two-story building will include a restaurant and bar with over 4,000 square feet of gaming area and a dance floor. The 2,400-square foot upstairs will feature a bar that will change themes.
The endeavor will employ 25 to 30 people and offer seating for 82 guests at indoor tables; 78 at the bar; and 40 to 50 outdoors.
In 1927, The building was home to one of the first JCPenney stores in New Mexico.
“We renovated the old JCPenney that had no electricity or plumbing. There was a lot of barriers we had to go through to get here,” Macias said. “The ceiling tiles were falling off and it was a dilapidated building. It was a massive undertaking.”
Every demographic in mind
In addition to the gaming experience, entertainment will include live music and DJs, plus trivia contests and karaoke. The venue will also include a full kitchen and offer a wide range of gastronomic choices, including gourmet burgers made from scratch. The full bar will offer cocktails, beer and wine.
While the concept is designed for adult enjoyment, kids will be able to enjoy the games during the daytime hours.
“The cool thing about the arcade bar is that there will be something for everybody,” Macias said. “My son is 2 years old. When he’s older I’m going to love bringing him here to see all these old games that I grew up with. It’s something adults can connect with and bring our kids into it, too. I think it’s going to hit a wide range of people.”
Macias said he created the venue with every demographic in mind so that everyone can enjoy it.
“We designed it in a way that if we took away the games and drinks, would people still want to come in here? I think yes because the décor and vibe alone makes is stand out,” Macias said. “I grew up in the 80’s and my wife in the 90’s. It was a different time. We’re putting our heart into it, it’s a real place — my life is in here now. We as people tend to romanticize a period of time and this generation is doing that.
“I hope to be here for several years and be a staple in Las Cruces,” he said.
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