Phoenix Comicon 2017 will be bigger than ever in downtown Phoenix.

Movies, books, comic books, video games and tabletop games can be a joyous relief, when surrounded by strange, smart and fun fan communities.

Metro Phoenix is home to a few nerdy sanctuaries. There are places that serve alcohol, because sometimes it’s fun to drink a little while playing on a 25-year-old Sega Genesis. Others are family-friendly spots where you can sip an espresso while perusing comic books, or learn to play tabletop games for free among geeky brethren.

Go forth and find your haven.


Bonus Round arcade bar

The bar is the brainchild of James Goshow and Jacob Rendel. The cousins, who grew up in Phoenix, began noticing great arcade bars across the country more than a year ago. Unlike other arcade bars, all of the machines will be free to play. Games include X-Men, Spy Hunter, Ghost Squad, Gauntlet Dark Legacy and NBA Jam. The Jurassic Park game is the Japanese version, and the compressor still works, so users move while they play. The drink list features a variety of draft and bottled beers, many from Arizona, and wine and cocktails. Food includes pizza, sandwiches and tater-tot nachos.

Details: 24 W. Camelback Road, Phoenix. 602-374-6936,,


This independent movie theater in downtown Phoenix screens indie, foreign, retro and cult movies, making it a popular spot for film geeks. It also has a small bar that sells beer, wine and snacks, including locally made tamales. To get a sense of the vibe, consider the Britney Spears quote often displayed on the venue’s marquee: “Sundance is weird. The movies are weird – you actually have to think about them when you watch them.”

Details: 815 N. Second St., Phoenix. 602-595-9187,,


Phoenix Comicon makes changes in hopes of smoother convention this year 

Phoenix Comicon visitors’ guide: Tips and tricks 

10 best events for adults at Phoenix Comicon 2017 

Phoenix Comicon 2017: Top (priced) celebrity photo ops

The complete list of guests for Phoenix Comicon 2017

Cobra Arcade Bar

The bar has 40 arcade games — from Tron to Q-Bert to Galaga to two different Street Fighter machines — each costing 25 cents a play, and a bar menu with video game-inspired cocktails. Cobra Arcade Bar is funky and industrial with a black, white and gray color palette and pops of color and…