Come visit new anime themed bar “Hi-Score Club” in downtown Phoenix

Any anime lovers here? Good news, guys! There is a new anime-themed lounge in downtown Phoenix, Hi-Score Club! At first, the lounge was supposed to be Japanese arcade, but because of COVID things changed. It’s not a bad thing, actually.

This is what Cobra Arcade Bar co-owner Ariel Bracamonte said:

“Pre-COVID, we were going to do this Japanese arcade over in Tempe and line the walls with import games. Because of COVID, we changed things up, played it safe by keeping it downtown, brought in all this seating, and made it more of a lounge. It wasn’t what we originally wanted, but it’s still cool and we dig it.”

There are a lot of amenities sourced from Japan’s pop cultural landscape inside the 1,400-square-foot spot which opened in February this year. There are a few imported arcade games in one corner. The bar’s drink menu includes cocktails such as Sakura with Miles Gin, lime, Lychee, Bitter & Toschi Cherrys and Master Roshi with Iwai Mars Whiskey, Apricot Liquor, Peach Bitters and Luxardo Cherry. There are also sake bombs. Drink up while you watch animated series play on HDTVS.


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A post shared by Cobra Arcade Bar (@cobraarcadebar)

The walls are covered floor to ceiling with artwork by local creatives like Joshua Rodes, Volar Gutierrez, and Jimmy Gutierrez depicting characters from Mobile Suit Gundam, Lupin the Third, Astro Boy, and a few Studio Ghibli films.

Bracamonte says:

“We brought in artists who know and love anime and let them plaster everything top to bottom with whatever they wanted.”

Bracamonte also hand-picked Hi-Score Club’s curated selection of import arcade games from his collection.


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It includes Bishi Bashi Channel, a cacophonous and colorful multiplayer title made by Konami that’s a rarity in the U.S., and a pair of Sega “candy cabs” or customizable sit-down style arcade cabinets popular in Japan loaded with hundred of retro games.


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A post shared by Cobra Arcade Bar (@cobraarcadebar)

He added:

“My goal is to have fun (titles) that not many people have played; games that we don’t usually have over at Cobra.”

Hi-Score Club’s three seating “pods” separated with plexiglass barriers and space for eight to 10 people are designed to conform with statewide restrictions by the Arizona Department of Health Services on bars requiring patrons to stay seated, which were lifted in late March.

Now that restrictions are lifted and an increasing number of people are being vaccinated against COVID-19, Bracamonte says Hi-Score Club is welcoming in anyone and everyone.

“People can come by and check it out, even if they aren’t fans of anime” he says.

Hours: 7 p.m. – 2 a.m., Wednesday through Sunday
Phone: 602-595-5873


Phoenix Valley Review
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