Geek Bar in Chicago slated for spring

August 01, 2013|By Mick Swasko, @swasko | RedEye

When he builds it, geeks will come.

That’s at least what David Zoltan hopes for Geek Bar, a project that was successfully funded on Kickstarter in less than 24 hours July 23. With more than $20,000 raised in addition to private funding, Zoltan said his goal of building the geekiest bar in Chicago is even closer to reality.

“The best bars in the world are focused around a community of some kind,” he said. “We are going to celebrate geekdom in all of its forms.”

That means Dungeons and Dragons, "Star Trek" on the TVs, video game tournaments, knitting circles and science lectures will all be in the mix (along with booze, of course) when Zoltan opens Geek Bar in March of next year. The location is still to be determined, but Zoltan said he’s aiming somewhere in what he calls the “Geek Triangle” -- somewhere in the area of Lakeview, Uptown and Lincoln Square, “Wrigleyville certainly excluded,” he said.

The idea was born last year, when Zoltan needed an answer to a geeky question.

“Where does a geek go to watch the season premiere of 'Doctor Who'?” he said.

He said he also saw the need for the bar in his work with Chicago Game Lovers, a 1,500 member gaming community in Chicago that hosts 30 to 50 events a month. He said the bar will give the community a comfortable place to call their own with like minded patrons.

Now with full funding, Zoltan is building a team and scouting final locations for Geek Bar. As the Kickstarter continues to grow, he’s updated the campaign with a stretch goal of $70,000 for the crown jewel of Geek Bar: if he hits the target, he’ll buy the $30,000 Iron Throne HBO is selling from Game of Thrones. For those who make a $2,000 donation to the campaign, they’ll be able to sit in the epic chair every year for a free meal on their birthday.

Zoltan is still working to nail down details like a menu, but his Kickstarter page offers a sampling of what’s in store. There will be two bars in Geek Bar, one called “Science Bar” with mixologists in lab coats, and another dubbed “Binary Bar,” aimed at being a more sophisticated offering. There will also likely be a large event space for gaming tournaments and other special events.

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