Culture News

Downtown's Cade Gallery Closes, May Reopen in New Location

Looks like its game over for Cade Gallery, at least for the foreseeable future. According to its proprietors, the downtown Phoenix arcade and art space has closed up shop after seven months in business. 

Co-owners Weston Henry and Nathan Ross, who opened Cade inside the old OP-tic building at Fourth and McKinley streets in February, say they pulled the plug on the gallery because of financial issues. 

"We were really never going to get rich with Cade," Henry says. "It was a labor of love that did pay for itself for a couple months, but the income was not reliable." 

Henry says that Cade's original lease ran through the end of this month. Jerome Gutkin (who purchased the building housing the gallery in June) offered a similar deal, but the pair couldn't afford a long-term lease. 

They asked to operate on a month-to-month agreement as a pop-up gallery of sorts, but weren't able to reach a deal.

"It was a good rate he was offering, but we just couldn't afford to put that kind of money into Cade right now," Henry says. "We just need to move forward moneywise for ourselves and for Cade's future. Right now, the physical location is on hiatus."

Cade was one of the more unique art galleries to populate downtown in recent memory. The tiny space was a geeky paradise where the local nerd crowd could relive their childhoods. An array of classic arcade games like Frogger and Mortal Kombat were lined along one wall, ice cream were available for purchase, and geek-themed t-shirts adorned with TIE Fighters and Robocop's ED-209 were sold by Ross. Events like game tournaments and trivia nights were also held each month.

"We loved hanging out with everybody, making new friends, and having fun. It was the ultimate hangout, and we want to have that again someday. We [were open] seven months, so its sad since we were shooting for a year," Henry says. "Love doesn't pay the bills, unfortunately."

Henry says they're planning to possibly relocate the arcade games to another art gallery, movie theatre, or geeky business in the Valley. Meanwhile, they'll continue selling geek-themed art work, prints, and t-shirts via their online store. Their goal is to buildup enough money to reopen Cade at a new location sometime in the future.

"The games are awesome, the art is awesome, but both of those things just don't pay the bills. It's the product that does. Nathan's shirts are quite popular and he's got some other projects in the works," Henry says. "We're hoping to find another location and working on ways to enable that goal, whether its another place on own or partnering with somebody else."

Henry and Ross will be moving out the remaining arcade games by the end of this weekend and are considering holding one last event on Friday.

"We've still got a bunch of ice cream, so we might tweet something like, 'Come by on Friday and say hi, get some free ice cream, play some games, and we'll see you soon,'" he says.

Cade Gallery is at 722 N 4th St. in Phoenix. For more information, check out the gallery's website and Facebook page.


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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.