Burgers and video games collide on Mill with Aioli Burger and Endgame

An ambitious and experimental partnership between Aioli Burgers and Endgame bar is uniting hungry gamers and nerds alike.

An ambitious and experimental partnership between Aioli Burgers and Endgame bar is uniting hungry gamers and nerds alike.

Founded only a year ago as a food truck, Aioli Burgers landed on success quickly. Teaming up with video game-themed bar Endgame in March, Aioli Burgers found a new home for its rich-cuisine on a college-student budget.

Tom D’Ambrosio, head chef of Aioli Burgers, was classically trained in New York but has adapted his French techniques for this new demographic.

“Our goal was to bring awesome from-scratch food at a decent price, in a casual environment,” D’Ambrosio said. “When we found (Endgame), it was a perfect fit.”

Endgame is a gaming lounge, bar and restaurant located on Mill Avenue, a location typically known for its wild nightlife. However, Endgame successfully caters to the video-gamer demographic.

According to The Entertainment Software Association, 59 percent of all Americans play video games with an average of two players per household and at least one gaming console in the residence.

Paired along with the statistics, a video-game and bar combination near ASU seems like an opportunity waiting to happen.

Read more about Endgame here.

However, manager Kyle Hollenbeck said that part of the success is timing.

“I think even three years ago, a place like this would have been difficult to open,” Hollenbeck said. “In a way, we’re still ... beta testing with all of this, and the constantly growing video game community has been so welcoming to it.”

The cornerstone taste of Aioli Burger's dishes is its daily-prepped french mayonnaise.

EndGame’s “free-to-play” mission is certainly experimental. Every game is accessible free of charge, with video games available from older consoles like the Super Nintendo to new consoles like the Wii-U, Xbox One and Playstation 4.

Reinforcing the bar's positive community, Endgame has pushed its hours of operation to 3 a.m.

“After the clubs close, we’re still open.” Hollenbeck said. “So they eat, get a water, play some video games. It helps people get home a little safer.”

The bar is continuing to expand by hosting DJs, live acts and video game tournaments including a charitable tournament involving popular shooter game "Halo" that gave proceeds to a toy-donating organization called Child's Play.

Read more about gaming tournaments at Endgame here.

According to Hollenbeck, it's the beginning of a long list of events for the community.

“We’re so excited with how this has turned out so far," he said. “We want to continue being a positive place for people to go and share old nostalgia with new experiences.”

With the food and free play, Endgame and Aioli Burger provide gamers like psychology freshman Izzy Lin a place to feel at home.

“I just feel like I can be myself here," Lin said. “It's so comfortable, and you really feel like you’re a part of community.”

Reach the reporter at brandon.chiz@asu.edu or follow @BrandonChiz on Twitter.

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