Flashback RetroPub to Open on Film Row
Flashback Retropub will finally become a reality – but instead of opening at The Rise on Uptown 23rd, the 80s arcade bar will instead open in 2015 along Film Row.
The new home at 814 W Sheridan Ave. is nicely situated along Film Row and a block away from the Fred Jones Assembly Plant, which is being renovated into a 21c Museum Hotel. Jose Rodriguez, who along with Mark Temple starting buying up vintage arcade games two years ago, announced the new location via Twitter and Facebook Tuesday night.
“We don’t have an expected opening date yet – once we get done with renovations we will have a better idea,” Rodriguez told The Oklahoman Tuesday. “We will have about twice as much space as we had at the Uptown location. But some of that space will be set aside for private parties.”
In a previous interview, the two friends said their plan for an arcade bar was inspired by a visit to The Max in Tulsa, an ’80s-themed bar, inspired the pair to create a similar concept in downtown Oklahoma City.
“The Max is the ’80s and the ’90s, and it’s awesome,” Rodriguez said. “I really wished we could do something here, and my first thought was if I could do this, where would it be?”
That was three years ago, and at the time, Rodriguez looked at the NW 23 Uptown area and dismissed it as not being ready for such a venue. He then negotiated with a couple of property owners along Automobile Alley, failed to find a good fit, and looked for space in the 16th Street Plaza District, only to find he was too late -- all the good spaces had been taken.
Rodriguez was then referred to developer Jonathan Russell, who was planning to redevelop a blighted old shopping center to an upscale retail center called The Rise. That deal, however, soured as the development experienced months of delays.
Those following Rodriguez on social media have long known the idea was far from dead; arcade game acquisitions continued. His original plans included a decor consisting of large Rubik’s Cube cocktail tables and a bar including an area where patrons can perform Karaoke to 1980s music videos playing on a projector screen, or enjoy montages of favorite clips of ’80s movies and television shows on yet another screen.