Waypoint Tavern Aims to be a Bar Created for Geeks
James Kenna is an ambitious nerdy thirty-something with big dreams to bring like-minded people together. This would by NYC’s first dedicated
geek tavern. James and his cohorts saw a gap in the market and knew just how to fill it. With Marvel’s movies and Netflix shows ganging more fans
every day, more and more people visiting comic shops, and comic con attendances through the roof, he knew this was the time to seize the opportunity. “Waypoint is going to be a staple in the community–with classic sci-fi fantasy movie nights, book signings, Rock Band karaoke, nerdy burlesque, trivia, gaming tournaments, geek singles events, and so much more.” James and his crew have a wonderful vision and I was able to catch up with him and learn more about Waypoint and the journey to making it a reality.
So when did the idea for Waypoint Tavern first spring to mind? When I was thinking about opening my own place, a geek touch was sort of a given. It’s something I’ve been passionate about all my life. So I gradually started putting pieces together of what I would want to see, they kind of bar I’d really like to go, the kind of bar I’d want to hang out at with my friends. That bar became the Waypoint. It’ll be just the kind of place to have fun and share all the things you love with people who love them too. From top to bottom I what this place to embody our community and for everyone to have a good time, from our menu items, to our events, to our decor, and to our staff.
Why is a place like this needed? There are over three thousand bars and restaurants on the island of Manhattan alone, and only a small handful that dabble anywhere near geek culture. None really made me go ‘heck ya’ I’d wanna go there. I mean look at the movies, look at comic con, we nerds are everywhere, we are popular, and we deserve a bar of our own!
How is the progress going in making this a reality? It’s funny, because while looking for investors people would say to me, ‘Ummmm isn’t your entire crowd anti-social and sitting in their basement playing video games?’ and it blows my mind that some people are still stuck in the past! We
aren’t like those stereotypes. Even the New York Mets have comic nicknames, we are in the mainstream now. We are accessible. But even though it has been a challenge raising the money, I’m hoping that the support from the geek community will prove them all wrong.
What’s the biggest obstacle in opening a business in NYC? NYC is just so expensive. The startup costs are three to four times what I’d be looking at in most other major cities, but my hope is when we take off here, to spread to other cities across the nation. A chain of nerd solidarity, so that we can do things like national gaming tournaments, book signing tours, movie events…the sky’s the limit.
Have you reached out to any industry darlings to help with the campaign? I’ve sent Facebook messages, emails, and tweets to lots of people, and some have gotten back to me. But you can only image how many messages they probably get to sort through, and unfortunate I don’t have Nathan Fillion‘s cell number on speed dial. ::We wish we did too::
Any fundraising events in the works to get the word out? Attending local Cons/Signings/Game Releases? We just launched our IndieGoGo, but it has been a slow start. We are doing the grassroots thing….dropping flyers at local comic stores in NYC and doing an email release to several online geek blogs. It hasn’t taken off quite yet, but I still have hopes that the snowball will start rolling and we can get this place open. There still a month left. Go visit the page and donate if you think what we are trying to do is awesome! Join us in helping make this happen!