Courtesy of Theodore Manning
Quarter Horse Arcade will feature a full liquor bar.
If you've heard the buzz about a new arcade and bar opening in downtown Durham and wondered what became of it, get your quarters ready. Quarter Horse Bar & Arcade will soon open its doors on the corner of Mangum and Main streets. Its owners say June 1 is the target date for the debut of the new space in the basement of the Kress building.
Right now it's full of lumber, tools, and other construction materials, but Jon Williams, Brandon Mise, and Murphy Turner are working feverishly on transforming it into an eclectic hangout poised to appeal to more than just gamers. Classic arcade games include Ms. Pac Man, Pole Position, and Dragon's Lair, along with a large lineup of pinball machines that will definitely be a draw. Even if you're light on quarters to burn, you may want to hang just for the wide-ranging musical playlist. Mise, who has DJ experience on his CV, has handled most of the musical curation, and Williams, a software developer by day, devised a system for taking bar patrons' requests after a keystroke or two. He's combining his skills with an abundant number of programmable LED lights to create bar lighting that responds to the music or forms artsy patterns. (He's programmed art on the side of a building before, so expect something cool.)
Quarter Horse will have a full liquor bar but won't be serving food. That means it will have to operate as a private club, thanks to the ridiculously bizarre liquor laws of North Carolina. So be prepared to join on your first visit, a small formality we've grown used to by now.
Plans are to open at 4 p.m.on weekdays and earlier on weekends (including a few family hours when kids are permitted). For more on the passion and philosophy behind Quarter Horse, keep your eyes open for an upcoming INDY
issue with a full-length preview.