Back when I was in the corporate world, several of my collegues and I had a dream. It wasn’t the sort of dream we ever hoped to see realized. It was like talking about what we’d do if we won the lottery: None of us expected to happen, but the act of fantasizing still helped the day go by faster. This dream was, to the surprise of exactly none of the people who regularly read my writing, to own a bar.
GASP. SHOCK. AWE.
But wait, my friends, this would not just be any bar. This would be a bar dedicated to geekery, a bar we could congregate at to indulge in all of our nerdlicious pastimes. A bar that would have failed tremendously in real life, because it breaks the first rule of all bars, but a bar we’d have loved nonetheless.
I present to you, the features of our bar, tentatively named The Rolling Die, in the hopes that some entrepreneurial bastard will take them and make our dream a reality. And then, you know, invite me for free beer.
The Setting: Décor would be a bit eclectic, with anything from fake weaponry on the walls to pixel-art. Think TGI Fridays, but the kitchy decorations actually appeal to you, and the food doesn’t suck. Local artists would be featured, because why not, and maybe people would find cool shit for their homes.
The Seating: Now, The Rolling Die would still feature varied seating like any good bar. There would four-tops, an actual bar, and large tables for groups. The difference would be that the large tables would also come with accommodations to facilitate gaming: DM screens, a hex-grid design in the center to use as a map, and even a slight dip in front of each chair to create and area for dice storage.
The Services: In addition to the standard bar services: Food and booze, The Rolling Die would other things available. Coffee and sodas, an actual variety of them, because not everyone drinks, but everyone can spend money. Additionally, there would be equipment rentals for people who decide to game on the spur of the moment. Dice, figurines, even Magic Decks would all be available for minimal fees. Why fees? You know that guy in your tabletop group who always forgets his shit and has to bum dice? You hate that guy, and wish you could charge him for his bullshit. We hate that guy too, that’s why fees. Aside from the equipment, there would also be a video game room. This would feature standard arcade classics as well as booths with a variety of systems set-up so that a good old fashioned Smash Brother tournament could break out.
The Drinks: The Rolling Die will have a full bar with a variety of beers, and at least three of them will be domestics.
Minor tangent here. Nothing, nothing, annoys me like bars who don’t stock any domestics. I get that they’re trying to be a “fancy” bar who is above all that, but the reason almost every bar and store has those beers is because they fucking sell. Sometimes a customer is in your place not because they wanted to be, but because their social group made the choice and they got dragged along. Not having an option for that person does not make you a better, or more elevated, bar. It makes you lose out on revenue from sales they would have made.
Pant…pant… okay, rant done. Where was I?
Right, the drinks! So in addition to the beers, The Rolling Die will have a good selection of liquors, plus some of the Pinnacle flavor vodkas because fuck you those things taste like awesome. But the truly unique feature to The Rolling Die will be the D20 Drink: Basically you pay $5 and roll a D20. Whatever number you get corresponds to a pre-determined drink. The higher you roll, the better you get. So a nat. 1 is a shot of McCormicks, and a nat. 20 is Johnny Walked Blue, with a whole spectrum of shit in between. It gets you out of your standard drink bubble, makes you explore new options, and offers the chance to get quite a deal for $5.
The Staff: Now I already know what you’re thinking, and no, the serving staff/bartenders will not default to being women in skimpy outfits. The staff will be people who are qualified, gender regardless, who want to work at a bar that fits the theme, and love costumes. Oh yeah, costumes are the uniforms. Each person can design their own, or pick out some pre-made ones, allowing them to wear what they feel comfortable in and show as much skin as desired. Hey, I said skimpy wasn’t mandatory, not that I would restrict a person’s ability to flirt for more tips.
There you have it, the rough mental sketch of The Rolling Die. Steal from these ideas all you want, because I would love to see a nerdtastic bar in my lifetime. So far the closest thing I’ve found is Barcadia, which does kick a lot of ass, but isn’t nearly widespread enough. That’s why these ideas are up for free, even if they will lead to a totally unprofitable establishment.