Opening a new restaurant is tough. It’s hard to know how exactly to make your establishment stand out. Often people end up thinking too hard about it, trying too hard to reinvent the wheel. That was not the case for Ariel Bracamonte, owner of the new Stardust Pinbar in Phoenix. “I wanted people to have fun here, plain and simple,” said Bracamonte.
Stardust opened up in August immediately stood out from the rest of the crowd, offering a unique and fresh scene for people in the Valley. It is the first and only pinball lounge in the area was modeled after the late singer David Bowie.
Once inside, people can lose themselves dancing on the lit up 1970’s styled 15×15 dance floor. “We just thought it would be funny to have a floor like that for people to dance on,” said Bracamonte, “It’s just pure fun in here.”
In addition to David Bowie pictures plastered all over the place, the bar even has its own special David Bowie themed cocktail menu, so guests can also be plastered all over the place. The bar area includes glittery bar stools and a rotating DJ booth providing the soundtrack. The bar top itself features over 8,000 pinballs encased in glass.
Stardust is nicely situated inside the same building as The Van Buren, right next to Ziggy’s pizza (not a coincidence). To enter, patrons have to go through a large swinging door like one might find to get into a walk-in freezer. Once they pass the secret entrance they immediately enter the lounge area. One wall is completely covered by posters of Ziggy Stardust while the other is adorned in vintage play fields from various pinball games of all eras.
Inside, there are over a dozen different pinball machines to play on including titles such as Arabian Nights, Addams Fmily, The Beatles, Cirqus Voltraire and the Simpsons among others. Bracamonte says their goal is to have 25 machines total. Each machine will take both quarters and specially branded tokens and will start at $0.50 per play.
In between playing pinball and slugging back Blue Hawaiians, patrons can also scarf down pizza by slice or enjoy a whole pie with their friends (or eat the whole thing by themselves, we don’t judge). Aside from pinball, Stardust is an authentic New York style pizza place hoping to burst into the Phoenix pizza scene with some ‘fire pie’ of its own.
Where: 401 West Van Buren St., Suite C
Hours: 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.