What nerd hasn't come home from San Diego Comic Con or Gen Con and not yearned for more? What geek doesn't go to their local bar and wish longingly to be able to geek out with their friends only to find music blasting at unreasonably loud levels, unable to hear anything below a shout, and be surrounded by sports on every TV? Who hasn't wanted a great bar where they can find friendships or more with people that they actually relate to and have common passions?
We all want a place where we can just be who we are. A place where the people around you share your interests and can talk with you about the things you love most in life. Where is the bar for the science fiction geek? The horror aficionado? The technology junkie? The fantasy fan? The comic book collector? Even the beer nerds and crafting experts? When you can't throw a stone in most towns, Chicago included, without hitting a half-dozen sports bars and faux Irish bars, it makes you wish for a place to celebrate your fandoms.
On August 22nd last year, when they announced the new season (or series for those Anglophiles out there) of Doctor Who, I asked myself where are my fellow Whovians going in Chicago to watch the series premiere of Matt Smith running with his companions into new adventures? Thus was the impetus for creating Geek Bar Chicago. A place where we can celebrate geekdom in all its forms.
We've been so lucky to have a groundswell of support from our fellow geeks, showing just how much the geek community not only recognizes the need for a place like this but is willing to support the idea. Our Kickstarter campaign reached its initial funding goal in just 24 hours and is already well into its stretch goals, which includes plans to purchase one of the HBO Iron Throne replica's from Game of Thrones to put at our Chef's Table.
We spent six months of research figuring out what Geek Bar would be like. Our experiences running the largest gaming group in the Chicagoland area, Chicago Game Lovers, certainly helped us in that regard. We knew we needed to have a place where you could geek out over sound levels that were reasonable. We knew that people wanted to see Captain Jean-Luc Picard on the screen instead of Quarterback Jay Cutler. We knew that they wanted a game menu alongside their food and drink menus. They wanted amazing food that wouldn't be hard to eat one-handed while working on their laptop alongside beers that beer geeks would appreciate and sitting at tables that have ample space to spread out their board game or comic book stash. Blazing wifi is going to be important, as is being able to plug in anywhere you sit. Most of all, space and scheduling for great geeky events that allow our geeks to indulge in their geekdoms with all their geeky hearts.
Those events are a core part of what we'll be doing too. Everything from board game nights to video game tournaments to Barcraft. Meetup groups like the Doctor Who meetup or the Browncoats will have a home at Geek Bar. We already have nerdcore bands like I Fight Dragons and Time Crash excited for us to open and helping us along the way. We'll be able to bring in folks from all over, including the incredible resources that Chicago itself has to offer, like the Museum of Science and Industry or the Field Museum. I ran a TEDx conference a couple of years back, and I understand the love geeks have for listening to incredible speakers and even sharing that out with the world.
My dream event is to invite Neil Gaiman and Neil deGrasse Tyson for a talk about all things creative and geeky and wonderful, moderated by Neil Patrick Harris. We'll call it "Neil Cubed". Dear Neils, please call me.
You can find our Kickstarter campaign, Geek Out Geek Bar, at here. Geek Out Geek Bar is a part of Seed Chicago, the city's collaboration with Kickstarter to fund impactful small business and community development projects throughout Chicago's neighborhoods. We're proud to say that having the city's endorsement shows that even the city of Chicago knows that Chicago Needs Geek Bar.
We're also proud that we've received enough funding from investors to know that we can move forward with at least a very basic, white-walled bar and open by March 2014. What the Kickstarter will allow us to do is geek out Geek Bar. Every dollar that is pledged to the campaign is another dollar of geekiness that we'll be able to add to the bar. But one way or another, we're on the path to opening, and we know now, thanks to our hundreds of supporters, that we have a ready-made fan base of our own.
Geek Bar geeks. I hope you'll be one of them.