Austin’s first esports bar, Rekt, hosts SXSW pop-up at new brewpub


Austin has many sports bars, but none of them are devoted entirely to a very different sort of activity — that of esports, multi-player video games that are played competitively for audiences.

Entrepreneur Josh Burkhart wants to change that with his Rekt E-Sports Bar, which would become the city’s first-ever esports hangout. Rekt is hosting a South by Southwest party on March 17 at the new Brewtorium Brewery & Kitchen.

The completely free, no-badge-required 7 p.m. pop-up will provide esports lovers one of the first chances to see what Rekt is all about and help to support the project, which is still in the planning stages. 

“Currently there is no place in Austin for people to go out, sit down with their friends, order some good food, whether it's a nice juicy burger or chicken wings, order a beer, and watch esports,” Burkhart said via email. “There just aren't any venues. Sure, there are occasionally places that will show a large event, but nothing that is around all the time. I want to fix that.”

He said that esports is the fastest growing form of entertainment in the world because a lot of people are interested in watching “professionals play their favorite video games.”

At Rekt (which is a common term in the gaming community), esports fans would enjoy esports while chowing down on “a nice variety of pub-style food, ranging from burgers, wings, and small pizzas, to some more creative stuff. Basically, comfort food,” he said. “I've also been going around trying out brews from Austin's many local breweries, and I want to feature as many different kinds of local brews as possible.”

Rekt’s SXSW pop-up will certainly have that — the Brewtorium, which opened last month, serves up pub grub with German influences, such as an appetizer of housemade dumplings stuffed with bratwurst, sauerkraut and onions. The brewpub from two longtime local homebrewers also provides a variety of house beers like the Electric Lederhosen Vienna Lager.

To join the SXSW pop-up at the Brewtorium, RSVP ahead of time on the Rekt Eventbrite page. The Brewtorium is located off Airport Boulevard at 6015 Dillard Circle.

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