Vigilante Gaming Bar Welcomes Both Novices and Experts
New tabletop haven might be your next favorite watering hole
With board games continuing to rise in sales for the past decade, it should come as no surprise that this increasingly popular hobby has begun to shed the stigma of sweaty dudes in their mom's basement rolling 20-sided die, and is quickly becoming an acceptable outing with friends, away from the typical distractions of, say, a music venue, encouraging people to spend a few hours, you know, talking, plotting, and accusing – but all in the name of a good time.
Gaming bars have taken the social setting of your favorite watering hole, reduced the noise by a few decibels and given an opportunity for the uninitiated to dip their toes into the expanding culture, while providing a home away from home for more seasoned gamers eager to switch up their typical surroundings.
"We are right in the middle of the circle of one the best nerd hubs in Austin," says Zack Daschofsky, marketing director of Vigilante. No stranger to LAN parties in his youth, Daschofsky is aware of a time when enthusiasts of nerdier hobbies were relegated to enjoy their game of choice in somewhat uninviting locations, away from judgmental eyes. The experience has helped shape Vigilante's commitment to creating an environment that welcomes all levels of board gamers.
The bar provides all the tools necessary for just about anybody to walk in and try something different or play an old favorite. Very much a nice, new neighborhood bar (serving a variety of local beverages) as much as it is a gaming hub, Vigilante offers their patrons multiple amenities (a vast game library, large tables with add-ons that keep food and beverages away from the game, service at the push of a button) along with their appreciation of geek/nerd culture (references to iconic games of the past accentuate the ceiling, and hidden, private rooms with bookcases for doors offer up an air of mystery). Is your party short a player, or are you simply wanting to make a new pal? You have the option to flip a switch and turn a signal on over your table which invites others to introduce themselves and join in on your game. In addition, a secret society gives customers free access to the game library, the exclusive ability to reserve four-top tables, and early-bird pricing on events with limited seating.
Still not completely sure what game you may be in the mood for? Helpful handheld devices will walk you through Vigilante's game selection, as well as giving you recommendations based on information that you provide (party size, playtime, etc.). Whether you're looking for something in the vein of favorites such as Cards Against Humanity or Settlers of Catan, or looking to try something new, the devices and staff at Vigilante will help guide you along in your search.
Are you a battle-tested tabletop warrior looking to meet up with like-minded gamers in search of glory? Themed nights provide a chance for enthusiasts of popular games such as Hearthstone and Magic the Gathering to meet with similar individuals, while events such as Vigilante's Social Play Happy Hour provide a more casual approach and encourage players to interact with each other while potentially learning a new game or meeting your new best friend.
"There is a zeitgeist that a lot of people think of when they hear of a lot of these activities. A board game, to me, is more about the structure and a system to learn more about the people you're playing with," says Daschofsky – and many people seem to share the sentiment. After recently spending a few nights at Vigilante, it seems as though the concept has hit pay dirt – packed houses with a variety of individuals taking part in tabletop and card games, a party of friends enjoying an evening out after work, as well as couples and families. "Think of 20 years ago: You had Dungeons & Dragons being lambasted as a satanic practice. It is no longer lambasted as a satanic practice – it's seen as nerdy. And nerds, all of a sudden, have their moment in the sun."