The Melbourne branch of Australia's first video game cocktail bar the Mana Bar is set to close its doors this September, management confirmed with Polygon today.
"Long story short is, we haven't been getting the traffic we need through the bar," Mana Bar Melbourne's general manager Meghan Betteridge told Polygon, saying they are not ready to talk to the public about the intricacies of the closure just yet. "And the Mana Bar itself can be quite difficult to keep people coming in all of the time, so we haven't been getting quite enough traffic for us to stay open any longer."
The Mana Bar was the brainchild of Guy "Yug" Blomberg who co-founded the gaming haven with Shay Leighton, Ben ‘Yahtzee' Croshaw and Prasant ‘Pras' Moorthy.
"I'm sad that the idea didn't end up working in Melbourne, but I don't know specifically what went wrong, as I haven't been directly involved with Mana Bar for a long time now," Blomberg told Polygon.
In August 2010, the founders announced plans to expand to Sydney, Melbourne and internationally, just four months after the original bar opened in the Brisbane hotspot suburb of Fortitude Valley. The Mana Bar confirmed with Polygon today that future expansions into other cities have been put on hold.
A strong community was fostered around the Mana Bar in Melbourne and Betteridge said that they are making plans to ensure that it stays alive after the bar's closure, such as hosting events over the next few months. For example, Save Your Mana Week will serve to collect contact details so they can set up a group and "everyone can stay in touch and everyone can stay update to date with who is doing what as well."