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Lakeview 'Geek Out' Bar Hopes to be Play Spot for Nerds

By Serena Dai | July 30, 2013 12:26pm
  The bros, the gays, the soccer moms — and now, Lakeview can add "the geeks" to its list of resident stereotypes. A planned bar just for geeks follows a string of geek-themed events invading the neighborhood.
Geek Bar Lakeview
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LAKEVIEW — The bros, the gays, the soccer moms — and now, Lakeview can add "the geeks" to its list of resident stereotypes.

When David Zoltan started looking for a site for a geek-themed bar, Lakeview turned out to be the best spot. 

Zoltan's "Geek Out Geek Bar" has now earned enough money through Kickstarter to scout spaces here, he said. From its comic book stores and restaurants to all the theater options, Lakeview seems to have an option for all sorts of geeks, Zoltan said.

"They don't necessarily like Wrigleyville for, for lack of a better term, the jock feel," Zoltan said. "With that said, there are lot of types of venues around. It's just a happening place to be."

Other geeks — from comic lovers to Trekkies — have found the same comfort in Lakeview in the last year.

Gay geeks had their own X-Men-themed prom at Spin, 800 W. Belmont Ave., earlier this year. Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., hosted its first Nerd Comedy Festival in the spring. Last month, lovers of indie comics celebrated at the Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St., during the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo. And Mad River, a bar at 2909 N. Sheffield Ave., soon will host a nerds singles event with a "Supernatural" theme for nerd dating company Nerds at Heart.

Zoltan's plans for his bar include activities and themes that those other geeks profess to enjoy. The geek bar will be stocked with board games like Settlers of Catan and with TVs screening sci-fi and fantasy like Dr. Who or "The Hobbit." Drink specials will be named after beacons of nerdom, like "Cthulhutini," a character of sci-fi author H.P. Lovecraft.

His dream event is "Neil Cubed," a talk between astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic book author Neil Gaiman, moderated by Neil Patrick Harris, Zoltan said.

Once the bar opens next March, it may officially cement Lakeview as the center of all things geek, Zoltan said.

"I just feel like geeks are flocking there because that’s where they want to live," he said. "It makes a lot of sense for us to be there."

The Geek bar, which was added to the city's second round of Seed Chicago, reached its initial funding goal of $9,750 within 24 hours — proof that Chicago has a need for a geek-specific bar, Zoltan said.

It is still accepting donations on its Kickstarter in hopes of reaching monetary goals to make the bar even "geekier." If they can earn $70,000, they will buy a replica Iron Throne from the HBO series "Game of Thrones." 

Zoltan and the geek bar's parent company, Cantina Forward, have been working with Baum Realty Group and plan to sign off on a space in the next several weeks.