Mana Bar expands to Sydney, Melbourne


Australia’s first video game bar Mana Bar has announced plans to expand to Sydney, Melbourne and internationally, a move which is likely to be welcomed by the increasingly adult gaming demographic.

“After only four months of being open, I can confirm that we will be expanding and opening up Mana Bars in Sydney and Melbourne, as well as internationally,” said owner Guy ‘Yug’ Blomberg today.

Manabar has plans to expand into the metro areas of Melbourne, Sydney and has international licencing plans “all kicking into gear within months … very very very fucking exciting,” Yug said. “People like to drink cocktails and play video games, and now we get to prove that all across the world!”

The first hint of Manabar expansion happened last night when Yug posted “It’s going to happen … sooner than you think … stay tuned ;)” on Facebook activism pages “Sydney Needs a Mana Bar” and “Melbourne Needs a Manabar”. The comment whipped the community awake and caused reactions on the pages from “Oh god, I think I just messed my pants” to “VICTORY IS OURS!”. The Manabar mothership is in located in the funky suburb of Fortitude Valley, Brisbane and was established in March 20 of this year.

The video game/bar fusion was the brain explosion out of Yug’s head — it seemed like an obvious idea to him. He especially found the idea intriguing that Australia was arguably the first to do it. “It’s exceptionally exciting — not just the fact that the concept itself worked — but that it was done first here in Australia,” he said.

He joined forces with three superstars to set the venture up running — Shay Leighton, Ben ‘Yahtzee’ Croshaw and Prasant ‘Pras’ Moorthy — who are all co-owners in the enterprise.

Shay “a legend in the local hospitality industry” is the bar operator and brings with him umpteen years’ hospitality experience. He is also the debauched culprit of the video game-influenced cocktails on offer at the Mana Bar, with the likes of Breath Of Fire, Princess Peach, Health Potion, Ocarina of Lime and many more being offered.

Yahtzee — the creator of renowned video game commentary satire video blog Zero Punctuation and writer — is the celebrity MC who maintains the level of chaos amongst the throng of patrons.

Pras holds the Mr Responsibility title — running the finance and risk management of the operation — the individual who keeps the bar from floating into the clouds. He is also a senior designer at Sega Creative Assembly. Yug wears many hats in the operation of the Mana Bar — owner, marketing, PR events coordinator and community manager.

Image credit: Iain Brock


    • They let me in and I am far from cool, and pretty relaxed in my grooming habits. It is a great bar.

    • –Disclaimer: I’ve only been there once on a Saturday night–

      It’s definitely not about being cool.

      You just HAVE to go this bar if you’re a geek and like playing computer games.

      I actually felt threatened when I walked into the bar, I was like “Can they tell that I’m not geek/37337 enough to be here” An “Ocarina of Lime” followed by a couple of Health Potion and Mana Potions and you’re sucking just as hard as the cute girls (that have just discovered what an xbox controller is) without a care in the world.

      Everyone is soo nice, you attempt to walk somewhere and people drift around you. You’d think people would hog controllers but the reverse was true when I was there.

      Also only a couple of people in cosplay, enough to liven the night, not enough to scare me, and I scare easy…

      Just enough to turn away people with closed mindsets, interesting enough to bring in everyone else.

  1. HOW COOL IS THAT!??!? freakin’ awesome. hopefully I get to the brisbane one before the san francisco one opens ;p (great choice of location btw!)

  2. Actually the article is wrong. The first hint to make it online of this happening I am pretty sure was the recording of Yug presenting for The Hive where he mentioned a new Mana bar interstate in the coming months.

      • Well i am just talking about this line, “The first hint of Manabar expansion happened last night when Yug posted “It’s going to happen … sooner than you think … stay tuned ;)” on Facebook activism pages”
        That wasn’t the first hint is all I’m saying.

  3. Awesome news guys, congrats to shay, yug, pras and yahtzee – proud to see a brisbane idea come through at such full throttle.. .can’t wait for the melbourne installation!

  4. I like the sound of the international part…

    Definately need to open one in the US!

    Congrats on the expansions as well!!

  5. I can’t wait for your fine establishment to expand all the way back to Yahtzee’s homeland! I would love to see one of these in London or Cambridge.

  6. News Flash: Bars across the USA do this on a regular basis. Not only do you see Guitar Hero and Halo tournaments at bars, but there are bars that have Xboxes hooked up 24/7 where I live. This is absolutely nothing new.

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