New Addition to the Tokyo Restaurant Scene: Storia, and e-Sports Bar

Look around a bar in America these days and you might notice an interesting trend. You’ll spot a tabletop arcade game or a Pac-Man arcade cabinet and you’ll realize you aren’t in any bar – you’re in a “barcade,” where video games and craft beer combined attract a wealth of patrons of all ages.

While barcades draw more and more visitors in the U.S., a new video game-themed brand of bar is opening in Japan – Storia, the e-Sports bar. Instead of watching regular sports or trying their hand at a classic arcade title, bar goers will be entertained by viewing the latest e-Sports games on TV.

The Increasing Draw of e-Sports

In case you’ve been out of the loop, e-Sports is the next big thing when it comes to entertainment, and everyone from investors to sports stars knows it. There is now a giant 15,000 square foot arena in Santa Ana, California, dedicated solely to e-Sports. The same investment company behind it has plans to build another in Oakland.

Athletes from all sports are buying in, such as the Boston Celtics’ forward Jonas Jerebko. He recently acquired the team known as “Renegades” that competes in the League of Legends and Championship Series. E-Sports as an industry only continues to grow, increasingly drawing in more and more spectators.

Storia’s Concept

Square Enix, the Japanese video game development company behind games like Final Fantasy is the company behind Storia. Set to open on October 5, the restaurant will be located in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro neighborhood and will offer lunch and dinner. Patrons will be able to watch gameplay while they relax, eat and drink, and the games won’t be relegated to Square Enix’s franchises. The goal of opening Storia is to appeal to adults who love gaming as much as, or even more, than traditional sports.

As e-Sports gains traction worldwide and specifically in the U.S., will e-Sports bars begin to pop up and rival chain sports bars in attendance on game days?