The existing bar scene isn’t conducive to ASU alumnus Ryan Scott and his friends.
“Phoenix doesn’t have the go-to geek haven,” he said. “We don’t have that geek mecca in town.”
He is in the process of opening Endgame Bar, a gaming bar intended to become a safe and inviting place for people who want to go to a bar but don’t enjoy the typical bars.
“It’s not necessarily that they’re not into the bar scene,” he said. “They’re not into ‘the bar scene.’ The existing bar scene.”
Instead of staying at home, people can go to the bar and play video games.
Scott is receiving help from James Rate, owner of Super Pizza Bros., which is a restaurant dedicated to gaming and pizza.
“(We want) to create a place that breeds an environment on Mill for people who wouldn’t normally go to Mill,” Rate said. “To create an environment where they feel safe and where they feel welcome and for everyone to go and have fun.”
He truly means everyone; the 7,000 square-feet area includes an under-21 section for underage people to play games.
A gaming bar is not a new idea. Howie’s Game Shack is operational, and The Coliseum of Gaming failed to open in January 2013 because a Kickstarter project couldn’t raise $100,000.
Scott said Endgame’s plan is different than Howie’s Game Shack.
“They really don’t have feasibility, because they charge by the hour,” he said. “People really aren’t willing to pay.”
Instead, money will come from drink purchases.
ASU isn’t convinced that this business model will garner enough profits. Endgame Bar is preparing to open on the second floor of Brickyard, which is part of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering just north of University Drive on Mill Avenue.
“We still want to show them that there’s a demand for this, that there’s a crowd from this, that there is a turnout of this and that having it would benefit not only Mill and ourselves, but ASU as well,” Rate said.
Brickyard is not technically located on ASU campus, so dry campus rules will not extend to the bar.
Endgame gets the room once a month. Rate and Scott are attempting to prove the business will succeed.
They appeared at Phoenix Comicon to publicize their efforts and they said they received good reception.
“Everyone who’s talked to us has seemed interested in having something like this,” Rate said.
They set up four TVs at their booth and put different games on each one, including Mario Kart and Typing of the Dead.
Abraham Achutegui, who was playing Super Smash Bros. at the booth, said he thought the business model was a good idea.
“It actually could be the hangout a lot of people need. … There’s a lot of video game enthusiasts coming out of high school,” he said. “I think it would attract a lot of those people.”
Endgame Bar has “everything from the NES to the Xbox One,” Scott said, and has more than 500 video games. Additionally, there are many board games including Cards Against Humanity and Settlers of Catan.
The next Endgame Bar event is on June 14. Rate said the reception and turnout at Comicon was great, but he’d like to see game culture more frequently and thinks Endgame can help.
“The best part is, (Endgame’s) not once a year,” he said. “It’s great to see a turnout like this, it’s great to see over 50,000 people show up to celebrate geek culture, but why limit it to once a year?”
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