- Arianna Auber American-Statesman Staff
It has never been more fun to be a nerd.
At 7010 Easy Wind Drive — in the same multi-use complex as Black Star Co-Op, off North Lamar Boulevard — Vigilante is officially opening its doors at 4 p.m. on Jan. 27. The bar’s CEO Preston Swincher and President Philip “Flip” Kromer promise that game lovers will finally have a place to go to both play their favorite games and enjoy good food and beer to boot.
(It’s worth noting that places like the Emerald Tavern Games & Cafe, on Research Boulevard, have already been offering a similar premise, but Vigilante is hoping to take the experience beyond what’s already out there.)
Even before opening, Vigilante has stocked up on the more than 150 games that are going to be offered: everything from classic chess to Cards Against Humanity to Magic: the Gathering, as well as far more obscure titles. Participants will get seated based on the size of their group and on what type of table their chosen games require, and they won’t even have to get up to order food and drink — they’ll simply have to press the “Accio Server” button on the custom Vigilante tables.
“Seeing as we are fortunate to operate in a craft brew hub, we are focusing exclusively on local Austin breweries,” marketing director Zack Daschofsky said via email. “Our vendors include Friends & Allies, Real Ale, Thirsty Planet, Hops & Grain and Austin Beerworks.”
Because of that focus on craft beer, the 3,800-square-foot gaming bar won’t be completely accessible to anyone under 21. During the day from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., people under the 21 and up age limit are able to participate but must be accompanied by an adult; after 8 p.m., it’s strictly adults-only, according to Daschofsky.
He noted that one special component to Vigilante is the focus on interaction and accessibility. The Vigilante team, which includes Swincher and Kromer, has developed a digital game menu that will be “accessible via tablets in the space and on the web,” he said. “This tool lets us add custom reviews, categories, mood and a number of other variables to help connect our customers to a game they would love to play.”
It’s still in beta for now, but the late January opening will give Vigilante time to perfect it and other key elements of the bar. Chief among them are the custom private rooms, like the first one, called the Wizard’s Office, that will transform the gaming experience.
“Our goal (with these rooms) is for our patrons to feel like they are stepping into a completely new space/world,” he said.
Before the Jan. 27 official opening is Sneak-Peek Week, available to anyone who backed Vigilante in the NextSeed campaign or the Kickstarter before that.
Once Vigilante Gaming Bar is up and running, it’ll be open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily and offer a full kitchen; a drinks list of beer, wine and sake; and the digital game menu with a variety of games to choose from.