By ROBERT HERNANDEZ
Generation Cool is the latest retro-style boutique making a hubbub on Fourth Avenue by drawing inspiration from ‘80s and ‘90s pop culture.
Robert “Slobby Robby” Hall came up with the concept for Generation Cool by drawing from his personal interests before returning to the workforce after raising a child.
Hall received an associate degree in illustration from Pima Community College and a bachelor’s degree in art education and printmaking from the University of Arizona.
“I graduated from the U of A and then I had about three to four years where I wasn’t working,” he said. “Getting back and thinking of how I was going to make money, nothing seemed more natural than working for myself.”
Generation Cool houses both a vintage clothing and toy store, and an arcade and snack bar.
While an arcade in a clothing store might sound odd, Hall understood the fluctuations of retail locations.
“The arcade came with the more business side of the idea,” he said. “I thought in my head, ‘what’s a steady money-maker?’”
The real party happens on Saturday nights from 7-10 p.m., when Generation Cool hosts an Arcade Disco with arcade games, disc jockeys and free pizza.
“It’s a weekly party night with games and contests, all revolving around our arcade,” Hall said.
Hall hopes his store will bridge generation gaps.
Rick Cano regularly visits in hopes of finding rare Ninja Turtle toys, not for collecting but for playing with his son.
“I have a 4-year-old who’s collecting all the new Ninja Turtle toys, so now he’s digging up my old ones from when I was a kid,” Cano said. “I’m trying to piece together all the ones I was missing. My son and I get to play together.”
But Generation Cool is not for just children and parents.
Hall plans to host in-store concerts by local and underground rappers. In the meantime, disc jockey J.R. “Sid the Kid” Harrison works the turntables every day from 4 p.m. until closing.
The downtown community has supported the store since it opened a few months ago.
“The response has been overwhelmingly positive,” Hall said. “Everyone gets it and I don’t have to explain myself a lot.”
Overall, Hall wants to create a space where Tucson’s young and old can hang out.
“I just want this to be a comfortable place where you can bring your kids, your parents or your friends and have a great time,” he said.
Address: 404 N. Fourth Ave.
Monday-Thursday: noon-8 p.m.
Sunday: noon-6 p.m.