Rad Retrocade — restaurant, bar and arcade — open for business downtown

Customers play retro video games at Rad Retrocade on Main Street in Downtown Las Cruces on Friday, June 28, 2019.

Jacqueline Devine, Las Cruces Sun-News
Published 6:15 p.m. MT June 28, 2019 | Updated 6:15 p.m. MT June 28, 2019

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"Garbage Pail Nachos" are served at Rad Retrocade on Main Street in Downtown Las Cruces on Friday, June 28, 2019.

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Bartenders serve drinks at Rad Retrocade on Main Street in Downtown Las Cruces on Friday, June 28, 2019.

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Bartenders serve drinks at Rad Retrocade on Main Street in Downtown Las Cruces on Friday, June 28, 2019.

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Bartenders serve drinks at Rad Retrocade on Main Street in Downtown Las Cruces on Friday, June 28, 2019.

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Bartenders serve drinks at Rad Retrocade on Main Street in Downtown Las Cruces on Friday, June 28, 2019.

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Back to the Future decorations hang on the walls of Rad Retrocade on Main Street in Downtown Las Cruces on Friday, June 28, 2019.

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A "Cookie Monster Milkshake" is served at Rad Retrocade on Main Street in Downtown Las Cruces on Friday, June 28, 2019.

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Rad Retrocade opens on Main Street in Downtown Las Cruces on Friday, June 28, 2019.

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Rad Retrocade opens on Main Street in Downtown Las Cruces on Friday, June 28, 2019.

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Patrick Downey plays video games at Rad Retrocade on Main Street in Downtown Las Cruces on Friday, June 28, 2019.

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Tom Laney and his son Noah play pinball at Rad Retrocade on Main Street in Downtown Las Cruces on Friday, June 28, 2019.

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Nick Sanchez plays video games at Rad Retrocade on Main Street in Downtown Las Cruces on Friday, June 28, 2019.

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Customers play retro video games at Rad Retrocade on Main Street in Downtown Las Cruces on Friday, June 28, 2019.

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Customers play retro video games at Rad Retrocade on Main Street in Downtown Las Cruces on Friday, June 28, 2019.

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Patrick Downey plays pinball at Rad Retrocade on Main Street in Downtown Las Cruces on Friday, June 28, 2019.

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LAS CRUCES – Rad Retrocade opened its doors to the public Friday.

The bar and arcade, at 201 N. Main St. and next door to the Rio Grande Theatre, in downtown Las Cruces, is a unique entertainment venue that pays homage to the 1980’s and 1990’s. 

The concept is from New Mexico State University alum Alex Macias, a former high school English teacher and tennis coach from El Paso High School. 

Ready to play 

Scott Johnson, general manager, said the venue staff are excited to meet the community. 

“It’s the complete package. We have a full arcade, full bar and full kitchen — so everything together makes a great entertainment venue for everybody,” Johnson said. “Everyone can come and enjoy part of the bar if not all of it.” 

Johnson said Rad Retrocade features at least 50 arcade video games and 15 vintage pinball machines as well as basketball shooting games and Skee-Ball. 

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Patrick Downey plays pinball at Rad Retrocade on Main Street in Downtown Las Cruces on Friday, June 28, 2019. (Photo: Nathan J Fish/Sun-News)

“I think my favorite is the Deadpool pinball machine. The four-player Pac-Man is also great,” he said. “We’re very different from everyone else in town. I think we’re one of the best arcade bars in the nation. We have fun food and great, fun drinks plus a great staff to back it up.” 

The restaurant/bar/arcade is open 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. All ages are welcome, with a guardian, until 7 p.m. After 7, only ages 21 and older are permitted.

Quirky food and drink combinations

Rad Retrocade puts a fun twist on traditional gastropub fare. 

Many of the food items are named after a character or thing from the classic film trilogy “Back to the Future.” 

Try the Marty McFries, hand cut fries or sweet potato fries seasoned with Rad’s own fry seasoning served with marshmallow dipping. Have a bite of the Garbage Pail Nachos, which literally come in a pail that when lifted ooze cheesy nachos onto your plate. The chicken and waffles are served in a sweet waffle cone drizzled with your favorite wing sauce. Want something spicy? Try the Hot Cheeto cheeseburger, yes, a cheeseburger topped with Hot Cheetos — the fries come in the Cheeto bag! 

Theresa Acosta, executive chef, came up with most of the creative concoctions with a little help from Macias. 

“I was the one who suggested we make the Garbage Pail into nachos. We had to find a pail that would work,” Acosta said. “We’re using recycled buckets that our food comes in. I spray the inside and it just comes out.” 

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“Garbage Pail Nachos” are served at Rad Retrocade on Main Street in Downtown Las Cruces on Friday, June 28, 2019. (Photo: Nathan J Fish/Sun-News)

Acosta, who hails from the west coast, said she was inspired by food from other cities and countries she’s lived in. 

“My food is very colorful and easy. Everything is local. There’s five ingredients on almost everything. It’s simple and tasty,” Acosta said. “We have a Doc Brown Reuben sandwich. In the movie ‘Back to the Future,’ Doc Brown says he hates Reubens so I named one after him. We also have plenty of milkshakes to choose from, like our Cotton Candy milkshake, one inspired by Cookie Monster, ‘The Little Mermaid’ one features little chocolate mermaid tails and our upside down milkshake inspired by ‘Stranger Things.’ We even have one called The Smalls, after ‘The Sandlot’ with S’mores on top.” 

Johnson said Rad Retrocade plans on staying in the community for a long time and encourages everyone to stop by to reminisce their childhood and show new generations what it was like to grow up in the 80’s and 90’s. 

“We want to be here a very long time and have great customer service. We want everyone to have fun when they come through the door,” Johnson said. “We’re excited for everybody to come check it out.” 

About the site

The ground floor of the 11,100-square-foot, two-story building includes a restaurant and bar with over 4,000 square feet of gaming area and a dance floor. The 2,400-square foot upstairs will feature a bar that will change themes throughout the year.

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Rad Retrocade opens on Main Street in Downtown Las Cruces on Friday, June 28, 2019. (Photo: Nathan J Fish/Sun-News)

If some of the flooring — the raised section downstairs, the steps and near the basketball arcade games — looks familiar, that’s because it was once the parquet basketball court at the Pan American Center. Go Aggies! 

The bar and arcade employs about 30 people and offers seating for 82 guests at indoor tables; 78 at the bar; and 40 to 50 outdoors. 

In 1927, The building was home to one of the first JCPenney stores in New Mexico. 

Jacqueline Devine can…

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