Gamers living in the Valley may be excited to learn that a new establishment has recently opened, which hopes to cater to a wide array of the gaming community. The Grid: Games and Growlers, located in Mesa, Arizona is a new combination arcade and bar that features drinks, food, live music, and of course plenty of games. Co-owners Bryan Young, Mike Goosens, and Matthew Robbins hope to capture not just those interested in electronic or retro gaming, but even fans of tabletop or pen and paper role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons.
While many of the available arcade cabinets feature classic titles like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Steel Talons, and Star Wars, The Grid also houses some very special modern machines. First and foremost is the unique 5 vs. 5 arcade game known as Killer Queen. Despite the retro pixel art appearance of the game, this is a new title developed by Josh DeBonis and Nik Mikros, based off a similar field game they had created. This eventually evolved to an electronic medium and is currently available in only 12 locations in the world, which now includes The Grid. They have also acquired a pair of electronic pinball consoles that contain layouts for hundreds of classic and modern pinball machines.
For fans of tabletop games, the bar makes their own growing collection of games available to customers, provides plenty of table space, and has set-up their sound systems in a way that dampens some of the noise coming from the main video gaming area. In an interview with AZCentral Robbins said, “We’re trying to provide a really comfortable space for any kind of community, gaming or professional, to be able to hang out, have some space, be able to speak to each other with not over-blaring music, enjoy themselves and express themselves.”
As for the drinks, The Grid’s Event Coordinator and Cicerone Certified Beer Server Trish Sanetick, sums it best when she explains, “We’re pretty dedicated to craft beer. We’re always researching and shopping around. We have 22 taps that we rotate regularly. We want to educate newer beer enthusiasts and excite more seasoned craft lovers.” Also in charge of scheduling and organizing the locations various events including live music, Sanetick went on to explain, “We’ve had local Synthwave artists Ichi Sound, Ethernaut, VoidBreaker, and Pyramid Aeon. We’re also looking to book indie electronic music, nerdcore, and some industrial. I’m also booking some progressive rock and metal and want to help grow the local scene. It’s all very exciting. We have a pretty clear vision.”
Those looking to plan a night out should make sure to visit the official Facebook page to see The Grid’s scheduled events. Their first ever tabletop focused event will be going on this Tuesday evening. They also host a weekly Killer Queen League night every Thursday opened to new and experienced players alike. Additional live musical events featuring local artists are currently scheduled for December 12. Regardless of what may draw customers to the place, The Grid seems eager to establish itself as a hub of geek and nerd culture here in the Valley.