Entrepreneurs collaborate to build up downtown Farmington

When the Azar family opened up Basement Burger Bar in downtown Farmington nine years ago, little did they know they would gain some wonderful friendships and entrepreneurial comradery with fellow downtown Farmington business owners.


“We opened 1up Arcade to be kind of a retro 1980s arcade bar with all of the old school games,” says Christina Azar. “We plan on doing a ton of events up there. Eventually, we will try to do a Mario Kart (TM) competition.”


“We should all work together and come up with ways to collaborate,” says Azar. “Honestly, Farmington is such a great city. We love it, I mean that’s why we chose to expand in Farmington.”


Sharing with skateboarders


Rob Woelkers, owner of Plus Skateboarding for the past 15 years and skateboarding enthusiast of 30 years, is one of the downtown business neighbors who has collaborated with Basement Burger Bar.


On September 21, the Azars held a soft opening of 1up Arcade, located conveniently upstairs to the bar. Woelkers was instrumental in gaining attention for both businesses from the community.


On that same day, Plus Skateboarding’s held its annual skateboard competition and The Volcom national skateboard team was in town for a tour at the Farmington Hills Riley Skatepark.


“We like to collaborate, and Rob approached us,” says Azar. “He had a national skateboard event and asked us if he could throw a party here and bring in some celebrity skateboarders. So, they wanted to come to play games and they did.”


“We have always had an after party after the competition with the judges and everybody who helps out,” says Woelker. “It worked out that that team was in town so we told them they should come to the after party, and the Azars opened up their new arcade bar for us and the guys. So, it was fun for the guys on the team to do that.”


Famous professional skateboarders like Omar Hassan and 14-year-old skateboarders CJ Collins and Louie Lopez were also in attendance, which gave the businesses some nice publicity.


It’s a date night!


The Azars are also giving away “Farmington Date Nights that capitalize on downtown business collaboration.


Azar says the giveaway idea evolved after the Farmington Police asked them for a donation.


“We gave them a Basement Burger Bar gift card and a 1up certificate for tokens, and then we gave him some free tickets and popcorn to the Farmington Civic Theater from (general manager) Scott Freeman,” he says.


“So, it’s a come in, eat, go play, have a drink, go watch a movie kind of night,” says Azar.


And it can all be done in downtown Farmington.


The new 1up Arcade Bar will be having their Grand Opening 1980s Rock ‘n Roll Halloween Party on Saturday, October 27th, which will include a costume contest, drink specials, and live DJ entertainment. As a collaboration with School of Rock, kids will be playing and singing 1980’s songs.


Basement Burger Bar is located at 33316 Grand River Avenue in downtown Farmington. The hours of operation for Basement Burger Bar: are Monday and Thursday 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Sunday 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. For more information on either business, call (248) 919-2797, or visit Additional locations for Basement Burger Bar, in Canton and Greektown Detroit. Hours for 1up are: Sunday 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., closed Monday and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 4 p.m. to 12 a.m., Friday and Saturday, 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.


Plus Skateboarding is located (across from Basement Burger Bar) at 33335 Grand River Avenue. Hours are Sunday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information on Plus, to shop online, or to check out upcoming events, or visit or call (248) 426-0899.