Starfighters Arcade expands and upgrades to new location

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Steve Thomas and Mike Lovato, owners of StarFighters Arcade
Steve Thomas and Mike Lovato, co-owners of StarFighters Arcade

The intergalactic heroes at Starfighters Arcade in Mesa will soon be moving their vintage video-game gallery to a bigger and better location, but just a couple of doors down from their current East Valley digs. Think of it as a two-space Q*bert hop, if the spaces were the size of buildings (just watch out for Ugg and Wrong-way!)

When they opened last November, Starfighters Arcade quickly became one of the Valley’s premier go-to geek-spots, and co-owners Steve Thomas and Mike Lovato couldn’t be more proud of their entrepreneurial endeavor.

Space Fury at StarFighters Arcade
Space Fury at StarFighters Arcade

“The journey thus far has been great,” said Mike, “and when we see families and friends of all ages connect while playing some of the classics it makes all the hard work and effort worth it.”

“Think about it,” Mike continued, “there are now 10 year-olds and teens in 2015 that will reference playing Asteroids, Pac Man, Robotron, Joust, Frogger, Donkey Kong and Defender in a real arcade, on the real equipment, as some of their fondest memories from childhood. Mission Accomplished!”

When the move is finished this August, the upgraded vintage arcade is poised to be the biggest and best in the southwest, maybe even the country (quite possibly the universe), and Steve and Mike are pulling out all the stops with their current expansion, setting the stage for even more growth in the future.

From their Starfighters Arcade Facebook page, here is a list of some of details regarding the new space:

  • The new location is 4000 square feet (up from the current 1800 sq. ft.)
  • There will be lots of new games and plenty of room for more.
  • New space is “equipped with air-conditioned splendor.”
  • Two separate bathrooms for men and women.
  • Areas to mingle and relax between games.
  • Located in Mesa, AZ, in virtually the same location (just a larger suite within the same complex), two doors down at 4840 East Jasmine Suite 102 Mesa AZ 85205.
  • Normal operational hours will stay the same during the move, but they are considering expanding hours in the near future.
  • Occupying the new location in August.
  • Look for more upcoming details regarding new services.

It all sounds awesome, but it’s going to take a lot of work to bring it all together and the Starfighters team could use a hand. If you’d like to volunteer some 8-bit elbow grease, just visit their Facebook page for current details and contact information – and Mr. Lovato promises that “you’ll receive a monthly membership for each day you volunteer” to help. You can’t beat that with a barrel mallet!

The more you know: Starfighters Arcade is one of only places in the world that you can play the legendary “Polybius” video-game, known for its ability to drive mortal game players “insane.” According to Mr. Lovato, they are not currently aware of anyone losing their mind while playing the infamous game at Starfighters, but they have noticed “a black late model sedan with tinted windows trolling the parking lot ever since it’s been here.”

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About the author

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Bob Leeper

Bob Leeper is the co-owner and manager of "Arizona’s Pop Culture and Alternative Art Network," Evermore Nevermore. He is the co-creator of the pop culture events Steampunk Street and ENCREDICON, and is a member of the Phoenix Film Critics Society. He also curates the Facebook fan site The Arizona Cave – AZ Fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and is one of the few brave and bold fans of Jar Jar Binks.

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