At one point it looked as though The Mana Bar was about to become quite the franchise. After its successful opening in Brisbane and a subsequent launch in Melbourne, plans were being drafted for Sydney. But now things have cooled. The Melbourne Mana Bar shut down, and plans for a Sydney bar have been shuttered. That leaves quite the gap, and quite the opportunity for someone interested in opening a gaming themed bar. Turns out we now have a bunch of contenders.
Melbourne The Beta Bar is probably the newest contender, but when you consider that it's being run by Skaidris Gunsmith and Bonnie Bradley, former employees of The Mana Bar in Melbourne, this bar might have the best chance at being an actual real thing. There's a business plan in place and their new Facebook page seems indicative of two people who've been there, done that, and know precisely what needs to be done the second time around. They look keen to support the local indie scene — which is a great call considering Melbourne has the most concentrated amount of Indie developers in Australia.
It's early days of course, but I'm keen to see how this goes.
Sydney This one is a bit less visible in terms of social media and whatnot, but seems a bit more ahead in terms of actual planning and where the team is at.
Spawn Point has a venue sorted out (a short walk from Town Hall) and all other applications, like liquor licenses and what not, are currently underway.
Most likely this is the bar that will actually launch first. Looking forward to seeing how it all turns out.
Melbourne Power Up is in its early stages and has launched a Pozible campaign to raise funds to get things moving. It's being run by "a group of young entrepreneurs and hospitality professionals" but at this stage we know very little about what Power Up is going to look or feel like. The idea is to create a place for 'nerds' or all kinds: board game nerds, anime nerds, video game nerds.
You can find out more about Power Up here at its Pozible page.