Brisbane’s Mana Bar Launches This Saturday

Brisbane’s Mana Bar Launches This Saturday

It’s Australia’s first bar dedicated to video gaming, starting March 20th. And we’re pretty sure everyone keeps saying “Australia’s” just to be safe – have you heard of anything like it in the world? Yeah? What about the Southern Hemisphere? In any case, the Mana Bar is promising some never-before-seen games and competitions. Click through for details.

But while the Mana Bar has a capacity of around 50 people, we’ve noticed the launch event on Facebook has over 600 attendees. So expect a line, or, as founder Guy “Yug” Blomberg says, “keep coming back, because the party won’t stop. Ever.”

With that small a venue, that’ll pretty much be what’s required to turn a profit. But the entrepreneur will consider himself lucky that “too much interest” is the bar’s only real problem (if there is such a thing).

Starting this weekend, punters will be able to play the unreleased, locally developed Raskulls (we assume as the drunken frenzy character), Street Fighter IV, Guitar Hero, Wii Sports Resort, take part in hourly giveaways as well as a “Can you beat Junglist at FIFA 10” competition, and have behind-the-bar Yahtzee make them cynical, yet humorous gaming-related cocktails.


  • I went to quite a few of Yug’s home parties, and they were always a blast and very entertaining. I even tried out for a job once on Australian Gamer, and while I missed out, the team were very helpful and supportive. So I suggest all punters out there should support them. Yahtzee and Yug are great guys and their bar sounds like great fun.

    • My god. Jeff, seriously?

      So you went to some guys house (most likely his parents basement) for some beers and gamage.
      Awesome. That experience alone does not translate into a sound business. And from the look of this ‘yug’ in his Youtube channel clip, he better stay off the drink…

      Sorry you got knocked back from a job with Australian gamer. It’s no loss though, I’m sure you will find a high profile decent gaming website or mag that can use your talents. Unlike the drunken waste of life that is Australian gamer.

      This balls up business has fail drunkenly spilled all over it.

      • I wish that more people on the Internet had watched Bambi, as it contained one very important lesson; if you cant say something nice shut up.

        It feels like the bigger gaming culture gets, the more it becomes about what we hate rather than what we like…

      • Sweet Geezus Pete, thanks for the support 🙁

        It frustrates me that the people mainly responsible for propagating the stigma of the anti-social irreprochable gamers geeks are gamers themselves.

        Actually the parties I threw were in a penthouse suite apartment in Fortitude Valley in Brisbane usually featuring national DJ’s that would come over after their sets at the local clubs, and with a couple of hundred people.

        But hey, jump to any conclusion you want, it’s the internet after all 😉

        As for AustralianGamer … well, some people see gaming, drinking and socialising as postive things, but as it’s obviously not your cup of tea I suppose there’s not much I can really say.

        • How does one get a invite to these parties?
          I checked out the mana bar on saturday when it opened, even though the venue is small it is quiet enjoyable.

          The Mana Potion cocktail is delicous and helped me win numerous Raskulls matches.

          Do you know when that is being released on XBLA btw?

      • Peter,

        Yug’s home was actually his own, and it was a Penthouse in the middle of Fortitude Valley. His parties were great fun, and had mainly co-operative gaming sessions. So I saw a lot of Wii Sports and Singstar. The parties were always hailed by the crowd as fun, they sometimes included a ball pit, fog machine and DJ. They felt more like an event, and I felt very privaleged to be included.

        I later wrote for PALGN, Xbox Australia, Gamespot and Total Gamer Zone. So Australian Gamer had some high standards. I’m out of writing as a career now – going to fun events and getting games early are nice perks, but there are very few paying jobs that you could survive on in the industry.

        I can’t say whether for certain that Mana Bar has a fail “spilled all over it” – its a risky business venture, that’s for sure. But it appears to have the right people behind it. They have a excellent location and from what I’ve seen, a good business model. Whether it pans out or not is hard to say, but I applaud Yug and the team for making the attempt.

        If anything, it would open gaming culture to a wider audience.

  • Call me cynical… But all I can see for that bar is two species: Disappointed hardcore gamers, made so by the second species: uber-compeditive macho 20-something tight-shirt-wearing, commodore-modders who play halo 3 and modern warfare 2.
    However, I do give acclaim to the businesses’ proprietors, who will no doubt make a killing from serving drinks making references to games barely any of the bar-dwellers have ever heard of…. And a Modern Warfare 2 beer.
    I live close to Brisbane, and if I find myself there on a saturday night, I’ll drop in for a bit, have a slash at Through the Fire and Flames, and an aforementioned referenced mixed drink.

    • Dave has a good point, a ‘bar’ filled with sweaty nerds debating trivial gaming drink names. How many of these guys have had a drink anyway?

    • I can understand and appreciate the cynicism, although I obviously can’t share it – if we didn’t believe this idea had legs, we wouldn’t be doing it.

      Opening a bar is NOT a simple or cheap endeavour though, and we’ve put alot of careful thought and planning into it over the last 2 YEARS we’ve been working on it.

      • Yug, in the immortal words of l33t gamers everywhere: “gg”

        I can see this as a pretty big step forward for gamer culture. I’m looking forward to seeing all the effort you’ve put in sometime around the month of April.

        You better be there… *shakes fist*

  • Wish them all the best of luck, as I would love to go up there one day… so QLD’ers… make it succeed!

  • I can’t believe this is even a news topic? Who gives a poo. It’s a bar full of dudes playing games for god’s sake…. Can you imagine having to listen to Yahtzee’s repetitive brand of negative humour for more than a minute.

    • It’s the first of it’s kind. And as a side effect will improve the general awareness of the games medium and I’m sure help improve the stereotype of “gamers”.

      Besides is a new bar that has games what is not to love. You’re on a Game site so of course its going to be news!

    • I agree. I’m in Brisbane, and to me it’s a massive difference to the other drudge that’s open on a weekend. Even to hear different music will be a welcome change. My only gripe, and probable reason for not attending the opening night, is the small space 🙁

  • What’s with the negativity, kids? Even though I am a friend of the guys, I too am worried about the bar in the actual size of the venue and the disappointmnet faced by those waiting at the door. But hey they are having a go and not sitting around bitchin’ on Kotaku, are they?

  • Hmmm, 50 person capacity? Ouch.
    Things are gonna get awkward.
    Tetris ‘T-Block’ awkward.

    Oh well, I’m still VERY happy to see a place like this rise up.

    • even if u do find one there, she’ll probably be surrounded by dozens of sweaty nerds offing themselves infront of her

  • If only I had enough cash to make it over there for the opening… oh well, this Adelaidian will have to wait, but I will make sure to go some time in the (hopefully not too distant) future

  • Hmmmm sounds like they need some more ‘hardcore’ games to cater to that audience.
    Although if there was one in Perth I would check it out.

  • 50 person capacity makes me think that there’s going to be a lot of problems with this place.

    It’ll either be completely dead or impossible to get in, so neither aspect appeals to me, even though the idea of having a place to hang out and try to improve my SF skills seems good.

    I’ll probably drop by there late in the afternoon on a weekday, maybe the after work crowd will be where this place thrives, somewhere for people to drop by after work to have a few drinks and play a few games.

  • What a great idea. I think I’ll go and take my 16 year old daughter with me so she can have the pick of the nerds. (YEAH RIGHT)

    Anyway, I’m a nerd and I barely drink so I won’t take up their space.

  • god damn it i hate living on the other side of the country!! Yahtzee and Junglist??? its not fair!!!

  • Wow – I don’t get the hate at all…

    I mean, most bars have sports playing on tv’s around the walls – this one will have games. Makes sense to me!

    I just hope we don’t end up with drunken Street Fighter brawls turning into drunken brawls over Street Fighter 😛 (alcohol + rage quit – net-based anonymity = fail 😉 )

  • A 50 person capacity, an expected man/woman ratio of 49:1, and with the likely hood of that one woman being even relatively attractive of 0%, CAN SOMEONE TELL ME WHEN THIS BAR OPENS!!!!!!! I’M THERE!

  • The only thing that irks me about this is… hasn’t anyone ever heard of the Barcode in Melbourne Casino? It was the first Video Game Bar in Australia.

    Then you can talk how this is the same as a number of bars overseas that have been around for a while. Ill skip over how most bars have a Sunday session with a Wii or even ‘Rock Band’.

    Its just calling themselves first that irks me.

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