Zach Pulliam | Owner
Abari Game Bar
Q: Why did you start your business?
A: I started Abari due to my lifelong passion for gaming. After first seeing the bar/arcade concept take off during my college years, I knew it was something I wanted to do. Who doesn’t love video games and beer?
Q: What are some key factors or decisions that contributed to the success of your business?
A: I believe the factors that have created success for Abari all stem from the people behind the business. My dedication to curating and restoring our games, my bar manager, James Murphy, for spearheading the bar side of the business, and my friends for always being there to encourage and help. Plus our awesome full-time tech, Matt Mondarano, for keeping all of our games running. Abari also had a very active advertising campaign before we opened. This included a great online social media presence, partnering with local businesses for pop-up arcades, and participating in charity events.
Q: What are some challenging aspects of your business?
A: The most challenging aspect of Abari has to be the local and state laws behind bars and taverns. North Carolina has a lot of archaic laws that create issues when opening a business that serves alcohol but no food. Another challenging aspect is definitely the upkeep of the machines.
Q: Do you feel you made any serious mistakes as you were starting or growing your business? Knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently?
A: The one mistake that I regret most was depending on my landlord for the up fit of our building. It caused a lot of delays which in turn caused the business to lose money. I believe if I were to go through the same process again, I would have taken out a larger loan to pay for construction rather than be on someone else’s time.
Q: What other advice or words of inspiration would you like to share?
A: The cheesiest advice I can give is do what you love and it will show in your business. The best advice I can give is to DO YOUR RESEARCH! Talk to similar businesses, get input from others, know your startup costs and profit margins, and here comes another cheesy but true one. Location, location, location.
About Abari Game Bar
Abari is a full service bar with 50+ arcade and pinball machines. Games range from 1978 to 2017 and are all a quarter to play or 50 cents for pinball. We pride ourselves on having well maintained machines, great beers, and a welcoming atmosphere.
"After first seeing the bar/arcade concept take off during my college years, I knew it was something I wanted to do. Who doesn’t love video games and beer?"—Zach Pulliam