Beta Bar has announced it will be closing its doors after five years, bringing the post-PAX institution for gamers and friends alike to an end.
The bar was started by Mana Bar alumni Skaidris Gunsmith and Bonnie Bradley as an "experimental after-party" event for PAX five years ago. It then quickly grew into a geek takeover of the Portland Hotel, before relocating into the Glenferrie Hotel and finally to its current location at the Hawthorn Hotel.
"Beta has undergone so many changes and we have always tried to adapt to the circumstances to give our community the best experience we possibly could," the founders wrote on the official Facebook page. "But, after so many moves and compromises on our vision, the night is sadly no longer serving people in the way we want it to."
"This decision hasn’t come easy, as we’ve spent the last 2 years experimenting with new formats, themes, competitions, partnerships & games trying everything possible to get it where it needs to be to avoid exactly this but sadly, here we are."
The bar's closure has been met with a flood of gratitude and commiserations across hundreds of comments. One attendee posted thanks for providing a venue where they met their loving husband, which has since blossomed into a little family. Others posted thanks for providing a venue where people could be themselves and gain more confidence and closer friends.
The venue will hold five more events before closing, with the first taking place on April 26 and running until the final event on Friday, May 24.
"We will make sure that even in our absence we will provide the resources and the tools to keep our community thriving and supported," the Beta Bar organisers wrote.