Cliff Bleszinski has just launched a new project, and it's not a video game. It's a bar.
The Gears of War creator, who earlier this month announced he was developing a free-to-play shooter codenamed Project Bluestreak, has also opened a watering hole called The Station in Raleigh, N.C., his home for the past 16 years.
Bleszinski told Men's Journal that games development helped him understand how bars and restaurants can be run efficiently.
"I realized everything is just systems," Bleszinski said, recalling a dining experience in New York. "The video game is systems that are operating together that the player manipulates. One thing I've learned about the restaurant business is to keep an eye on your ticket times and keep an eye on your customers. Make sure they're happy. If something's messed up, give them a free dessert, etc. And one of the other rules I've learned is keep an eye on the bathroom. Because if the bathroom is not clean, that kitchen sure as hell isn't."
The Station at Person Street is modeled on a 1910 Amoco service station and currently features a menu full of comfort food and 10 beers on tap from a rotating selection. Bleszinski told Men's Journal he and his business partner have plans to open a second establishment — one with more than 300 beers on tap, he says — in 2015.
Full disclosure: Cliff Bleszinski's brother, Tyler Bleszinski, is the founder of Polygon sister site and Vox Media progenitor SB Nation.