Brisbane's Mana Bar bartender Grant shows off his mixing skills. (Credit: GameSpot AU)
Four guys from Brisbane seem to have struck gold with their concept of putting video game consoles inside a cocktail bar. The first venue opened up in April 2010 in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley and quickly gained a loyal following of drinkers. Now the quartet has got its sights set on Melbourne, with the first details of the new Mana Bar emerging.
Mana Bar poster boy Guy "Yug" Blomberg confirmed to CNET Australia's sister site GameSpot AU that the company has signed the lease for a venue in the suburb of Fitzroy and had started renovating the Melbourne bar ahead of its mid-December launch. Yug said they spent months searching for the right location before settling on this one, situated among other reputable cocktail bars and within easy access to Melbourne's tram network.
Unfortunately, Yug wasn't willing to give a specific date on when the Mana Bar will open in Melbourne, saying that: "The date is something we're taking really seriously. We had people fly up to Brisbane last time, so we want to make sure we get it right." The keys to the bar were picked up yesterday, with co-owner Shay Leighton currently down in Melbourne working on the renovations. Keen would-be drinkers can follow the progress of the renovations on Facebook, as Yug promised to update it regularly with photos.
Video game-themed cocktails are set to arrive in Melbourne shortly. (Credit: GameSpot AU)
As for the location itself, the bar will be slightly bigger than the Brisbane Mana Bar, featuring multiple rooms and a courtyard. Of course, that means more TV screens and consoles, with Yug envisioning a dedicated Guitar Hero/social games area set aside for titles that require a bit more space to play.
One of the Mana Bar Brisbane's most popular regular events so far has been the video games trivia nights that are hosted by co-owner Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw. While exact details are yet to be worked out, Yug told GS AU that Yahtzee would be taking his trivia on the road, bouncing between Melbourne and Brisbane.
As for plans to expand Mana Bar to Sydney, Yug said that Sydneysiders would have to wait a little bit longer, pushing the opening back until 2011. While the news goes against plans earlier this year to launch both Sydney and Melbourne before the year's end, Yug added that: "The turnaround on Sydney will be fairly quick after Melbourne."
Via GameSpot AU