By Alison Bailin Batz
Photos by James Patrick
Scottsdale is no stranger to pool parties, but never one quite like this.
Opened earlier this spring in Old Town next to Brat House, Rack Scottsdale is the city’s only true pool hall lounge, complete with billiards, a full kitchen, a jukebox and a bar.
“If you think about the Old Town scene, there are already so many clubs, restaurants and bars. I wanted this to be something very different, a concept that has stood the test of time, and with the right tweaks for the local crowd, would be a home run for the area,” says owner Ed Archuleta, a 25-year veteran of the bar and hotel industries, including work at Pointe South Mountain, The Phoenician and Caesar’s Palace in Lake Tahoe.
At 5,000 square feet, the space itself boasts four indoor pool tables as well as one outside on the 1,800-square-foot patio, each made of chrome and custom-designed in sleek blue versus the traditional (and outdated) green felt.
“Beyond the tables themselves, those expecting to walk into a smoky, dark pool hall will be pleasantly surprised,” says Archuleta, who outfitted the space with LED lighting and custom booths and patio seating, which give the lounge a far more welcoming vibe than stereotypical pool hall.
Another pleasant surprise? The food and drink menus.
Thanks to a full kitchen, the venue has both bar-themed favorites ranging from buffalo wings, made-to-order burgers and beer-battered onion rings to specialties of the house including a chicken Parmesan sandwich with homemade marinara sauce.
“Behind the bar, we, of course, offer beer, wine and spirits,” Archuleta says. “But we really wanted to focus on developing some signature cocktails beyond the standard options.”
As such, Rack Scottsdale offers as many as six different types of signature mules on any given night, including:
• The Polish Mule ($12): Cock’n Bull ginger beer, Bitter Truth Orange Flower Water and Belvedere Vodka combined with simple syrup and fresh lime juice.
• The Deep Eddy Mule ($10): Cock’n Bull ginger beer and fresh lime juice mixed with the guest’s choice of any Deep Eddy Vodka – straight, peach, lemon, cranberry, orange or ruby red.
Rack Scottsdale, which is open from 12 p.m. to 2 a.m. every day with a weekday happy hour from 3 to 7 p.m., invites larger parties to make reservations for tables in advance, but if just stopping by to play a pick-up game, watch sports on one of the many high-definition TVs, or meet a few friends for a drink, no reservations are required. Archuleta also notes that beginning this summer, they’ll host amateur tournaments and nine-ball competitions.
Rack Scottsdale, 3636 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale; 480.476.1035; www.rackscottsdale.com.