After a tumultuous year with the pandemic and rising rents, game bar owner Zach Pulliam is narrowing in on a new Abari location.
The big picture: Pulliam announced the permanent closure of his arcade in August, saying that it was “unclear” whether he could ever reopen in a city like Charlotte where, he said then, “developers are stifling creativity and killing small business.”
- Since then, he’s scoured the city for a new location before landing on 1015 Seigle Avenue, a family-owned building in the Belmont neighborhood. It’s about one mile from the original Abari.
Pulliam first teased the possibility of a new location in a viral Reddit post. He tells me he’s signed a letter of interest and plans to sign the lease today.
What to expect: The new location, which Pulliam has coined “Super Abari,” is almost double in square footage with a designated bar and lounge area and more space for larger games like Skee-Ball.
- Abari will still have a full bar, and it’ll add a small food menu, including homemade Hot Pockets from local bakery Dukes Bread. The nostalgia!
Beyond the space itself, Pulliam says to expect the same low-key Abari vibe with community driven game tournaments in pinball and Killer Queen.
“This is just a guy — me — doing this. I do this for the love of what I’m doing, and I hope that shows,” he tells me.
Timeline: Pulliam hopes to have Super Abari open by the end of summer.