The Midwest’s first Video Game Bar
In 2013, I founded and opened one of the first video game bars in the US. Featuring free-to-play console systems, an evolving pop-culture themed cocktail list, and cosplay raves, 42 Lounge changed the game when it came to bars and geek culture, even going so far as to define a new style of venue: the “Nerd Bar.”
Events and community were the two secrets to our success. Daily, weekly and monthly events supported by local community members and national partnerships meant we were able to provide a wide range of entertainment, ranging from esports viewing parties to tournaments, activation partnerships and field trips. The venue also featured national nerdcore musical guests such as Freezepop, MegaRan, Danimal Cannon, Brental Floss, Symbion Project, and The Doubleclicks.
Along the way, I learned more important lessons than I can count. Entrepreneurship changed how I approach business, relationships and community. I have a deep appreciation for the importance of structure, communication and honest leadership as a result of stumbling my way through and learning from my mistakes.
42 Lounge served the community for over 5 years, and welcomed hundreds of thousands of people from across the world, before moving to become Oak and Shield Pub just five blocks away.