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Gaming themed restaurant/bar. Any Exist? Is this even a good idea?


VDog
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This idea has been stuck in my head for the last few weeks. I have years of experience assistant managing a fast food restaurant so I know food, I've previously run my own small business in martial arts so I know a good amount of what it takes to handle "things" in business, I also love playing D&D.

 

All of these combined to make me think: How fun would it be to set up a game at a place that doesn't mind noise, serves food and beer, and nobody else cares if you scream "Crit! F*** Yeah!" as much as you want? Wouldn't that just be awesome?!

 

I'm thinking an old school tavern themed "pub" with large sturdy tables. Possibly 2 or 3 rooms, one for "underage" crowd (food but no alcohol), one for standard use, and one for renting out to parties (LARP'ers or people involved in SCA kind of thing, that want to get food somewhere that *wants* them to show up dressed in costume and roleplay to their hearts content.)

 

Do any of you know of anything like this? Are there some examples I can check out?

 

Would gamers even really play there? Or do you not think it would catch on?

 

Would a standard pub crowd put up with gamers or would it scare them away? What's your opinion?

 

Lastly: Any millionaires want to invest? :)

 

Seriously though I'm considering doing the legwork and looking into local lease costs, business setup fees (I was an "independant contractor" before so I didn't actually set up the business, I just ran it) and all the legal things etc. and seeing what it would take to set up something along these lines.

 

Also I'm in Salt Lake City, Utah which means I'm in a decently sized city, but it is fairly conservative overall. However the amount of bars is actually quite high for the population. I just don't know if anything like this already exists elsewhere, has tried and failed, or things along that line.

 

I just thought some of you awesome people might have tips, suggestions, etc. Feel free to even shoot the idea down if you don't think it would make money. I just want some input.

 

Thanks!

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It could be an excellent idea. However, it may be more efficient to slightly separate the two; have the gamestore in one unit of a strip, and the food in the next unit. You could even include a door between the two so patrons don't have to go out in the weather.

 

I believe a bar and/or coffee shop would work better than an actual food place; bar food would probably be enough for most gamers.

-Dave

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I would focus less on the selling of games, possibly partner with a nearby gameshop and send any buyers to them, we have a few great ones in the area. The focus would be more on just having room for people to come in and set up large play areas, be it D&D, Warhammer, etc. and be able to utilize them while also having food/drink available. Hosting events like the D&D Encounters or even card tournaments, invite the gaming shop owners to host it here, maybe one free non-alcoholic drink per participant, discount on food during the event, things like that. Basically a bar designed for all of us nerds who enjoy drinking and being somewhat social, but still want to be around other nerds.

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I would focus less on the selling of games, possibly partner with a nearby gameshop and send any buyers to them, we have a few great ones in the area. The focus would be more on just having room for people to come in and set up large play areas, be it D&D, Warhammer, etc. and be able to utilize them while also having food/drink available. Hosting events like the D&D Encounters or even card tournaments, invite the gaming shop owners to host it here, maybe one free non-alcoholic drink per participant, discount on food during the event, things like that. Basically a bar designed for all of us nerds who enjoy drinking and being somewhat social, but still want to be around other nerds.

If he's not selling the games/items, that becomes more problematic. It's hard to make money when you're giving away or discounting your product without providing something for them there.

 

On the other hand, if he would have a LIMITED selection of highly selling items available, that could work - booster packs for card games, some DnD style books that would match up well with the games he hosts, etc... Then the discounts to get people in the door make more sense.

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I was just told this week by one of the owners of my FLGS that 5-7 of them do exist in the U.S. Three of them in Vegas. I don't know the names and they are all independent of each other so they aren't a chain. So there you go. I do not know if they sell any product. I just know they are gamer/geek couture themed and friendly.

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There are examples of two of the coffee house style game stores in my area. The first is Enchanted Grounds in Highlands Ranch and the other is The Haunted Games Cafe in Ft Collins. I don't believe that either of them sell food though.

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The closest I've seen is Enchanted Grounds, which seems to be successful, but isn't quite what you're talking about.

 

I would be concerned about the total number of gamers in easy commute range and how often each of them would be willing to come in. To keep the doors open, you would need large numbers (40?) nearly every night, so if the average gamer showed up 2 times a year (complete WAG), you would need around 7500 gamers in the population. I have no idea how that would work in SLC.

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That AFKTavern looks exactly like what I had in mind. I will have to get in touch with them if possible to see if they have any advice. I love all the suggestions and help so far guys thanks! Always open to more feedback.

 

Since there's some examples of it working out I will definitely start looking into exactly what kind of captial I would have to find from investors/business loans to get something like this up and running in my area. Honestly the best thing about it is the idea of being my own boss again.

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The Safe House in Milwaukee is somewhat in this vein. Although not actually a gaming place, it was always a popular hang out during GenCon back when it was still held in Milwaukee. I've not been there in nearly a decade, so I have no idea if it is still "cool" anymore.

 

~v

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I think just getting the word out that you are gamer friendly is a big step.. we used the local Irish pub to play munchkin at several times on their less busy nights.. we've started to have regular events in the free reserve-able room at the local BBQ joint as well.. monday nights a lot of restaurants are really slow.. offering to bring in 20 or so people will make them less inclined to worry about needing to flip the tables to get more people through the door

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