This post is part of a series on my favorite spots in Phoenix. To read the other posts, follow these links: Swansong (Best places in Arizona), UnderTow, Barber Parlor, Phoenix Breweries, Changing Hands / First Draft Book Bar, Renaissance Hotel, Camelback and Central.
Phoenix is starting to have a nice arcade bar scene, and my favorite one there, hands-down, is Bonus Round. The fact that it was a mere 5-minute drive from my apartment didn’t hurt its odds, but there’s just so much more to the place than the unassuming signage would lead you to believe.
Inside, you can find a modest selection of retro games. What sets this bar apart is that all the games are free, and you can play to your heart’s content. They have Street Fighter II, the Jurrasic Park shooter, Gauntlet Legends, NBA Jam, Galaga, and Ms. Pacman, just to name a few. They also have an XBox One with controllers you can pick up at the bar tucked into the corner, as well as a good selection of board and card games you can use. The food here is great and super reasonably priced: I recommend the Pork Chalupa and the Ghost Pepper Grilled Cheese. Their themed cocktails are great as well, such as the whisky-loaded Golden Gun, as well as the ever-changing cocktail of the moment. With an insane selection of beers in cans and bottles, there’s sure to be something for everyone.
Protip: Feel like playing beer roulette? Try the Brown Bag special. For a mere $3.50 you can help Bonus Round clear out seasonal and rotating beers not currently on the menu!
Geeks Who Drink
One of the main reasons we headed to Bonus Round was because every Thursday, Bonus Round hosts trivia by Geeks Who Drink, a national trivia organization. The categories are pretty incredible if you’ve never been before and delightfully diverse (such as an entire audio round of Disney songs sung by Chewbacca). The team names are also a big draw, many of which are very NSFW. The competition is always fierce, with a mere 12 points usually separating first and last place. It was always such a joy to go out with our friend, enjoy a few drinks, try to win some penny pints, and attempt to dominate the field. On tap takeover nights, you can also win some really nifty brewery swag. We won some nice stuff for coming in first and second when Stone Brewing and Sierra Nevada came in (respectively). I got a nifty pair of Stone Brewing socks as part of their March Madness campaign when we won, which I still rock on the weekends.
Overall, with the atmosphere and the people who work there, it’s hard to go wrong with a night at Bonus Round.