Gears of War Creator Opened a Beautiful Bar in North Carolina, Has Plans for Another

Cliff Bleszinski opens The Station in Raleigh, reveals plans to open another, bigger pub in 2015.

The Station

Let's just get the "Beers of War" joke out of the way now. OK. Here is the story...

Gears of War creator Cliff Bleszinski doesn't just make video games. Following his exit from Epic Games in 2012, he opened a restaurant/bar in his home town of Raleigh, North Carolina, and plans to set up another establishment in the city in 2015. All of this is happening as Bleszinski also gets to work at his new game studio, Boss Key Productions, which recently announced its first game--a free-to-play shooter currently called Project Bluestreak to be published by Nexon.

As reported by Men's Journal, Bleszinski opened the watering hole--called The Station at Person Street--earlier this year. It's been open for a few months now, and is described as a "modern take on a 1910 Amoco gas station." In fact, The Station was built on the exact location of an Amoco gas station. The image at left shows what the establishment looked like then and now.

The bar serves plenty of popular beers and local brews. There is also a food selection with pretty much everything you'd expect. Bleszinski opened The Station with his friend Niall Hanley, a man Bleszinski says is like a big brother when it comes to learning how to run a business.

Bleszinski said he got the idea to open his own restaurant a few years back while having a meal in New York City. "This restaurant looked like chaos and then I realized everything is just systems," Bleszinski said. "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."

Bleszinski visits The Station from time to time to check up on things and further immerse himself in the food business. But he's not limiting himself to The Station alone. In spring 2015, Bleszinski plans to open a second bar/restaurant business called The Raleigh Beer Garden.

This establishment will be three times the size of The Station and have more than 300 draft beers available. You can also expect this pub to have some geek flair.

"I want to make sure that the Beer Garden has a bit of a geek influence," Bleszinski said. "We'll have a couple of old school arcade games and some pinball machines to have that geek DNA. West Coast Barcades are absolutely huge, so we hope to have a little bit of that with 350 beers on draft and a great outdoor space for people to enjoy a pint on a nice Raleigh 80-degree day."

Bleszinski is not the first video game developer with professional ties to beer. After retiring from BioWare in 2012, studio co-founder Greg Zeschuk launched a craft beer-inspired web video series called The Beer Diaries.

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eddienoteddy

Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
63 comments
wexorian
wexorian

It's official gamespot goes dry on articles!

jhonMalcovich
jhonMalcovich

Why americans make bar chairs so high. Even being sober, I would have trouble on sitting on those without having vertigo. Falling from that chair would be so long and painful.

UNCStriker88
UNCStriker88

cool, i had no idea, i need to check it out now!

blackothh
blackothh

I feel like EPIC was the only thing keeping this guys ADD in check........

daikkenaurora12
daikkenaurora12

"Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot" ...  they need to put news in quotes.

daikkenaurora12
daikkenaurora12

This is an advertisement, not news.  Gamespot trying to get free drinks.

fatee
fatee moderator moderator

Are employees discouraged from playing... at the station?

Okay, I'll leave now.

TenraiSenshi
TenraiSenshi

So he went from delivering shooters to...

(•_•) 

( •_•)>⌐■-■ 

(⌐■_■)

Delivering Shots.

thesilverape
thesilverape

Bringing you the lastest in Gaming News!

naomha1
naomha1

He's opening restaurants and making free games. Ugh.

lewishim666
lewishim666

I'd rather have Jazz Jackrabbit 3 or Gears of War 4 (a real Gears of War 3 sequel unlike Judgement). Seriously Clifford Bleszinzki is good at making games so he should stick to that. I know I wouldn't want to talk to him at any bar let alone one he owns. I definitely think he is pretentious enough to hang out t his own bar and annoy everyone.

Hoski0999
Hoski0999

Eddie = the one who always does crap stories about games or decides to do one way off the topic of games.

bunchanumbers
bunchanumbers

The only way I get a beer here is if the bar comes with all of the ego of Cliffy B. I better be treated like garbage when I walk in the door. 

saturatedbutter
saturatedbutter

350 draft beers? Bull. You can't tell the differences between 350 draft beers.

whalesex
whalesex

If you ever want to hear a good story, ask Cliffy B about drinking in Mexico with the Funimation guys.

MAGIC-KINECT
MAGIC-KINECT

"Beautiful" is in the eyes of the beholder. Nothing special about it.

DrKill09
DrKill09

Bars aren't supposed to be pretty, they're supposed to be dimly lit, play loud heavy metal, and serve tons of cheap beer!

pyro1245
pyro1245

oh snap! that's like, less than a mile from my house!

imajinn
imajinn

What's next? Oni opens up a shoe palace?

howiex89
howiex89

thanks eddie, going to book my flight tomorrow and have a few beers here

olddadgamer
olddadgamer

Man, I've had NC beer.  No thanks.


Cliffy, you want to know how to run a brew pub, come up here to New England. 

xcollector
xcollector

Cliff doesn't know what he is doing anymore. He just has a lot of money to waste.

wgerardi
wgerardi

Sorry, Cliffy, but I feel like we already have enough bars here in Raleigh.... and this one does't really look that interesting. Should have put an Oculus Rift at every table and made it BYOB.


Also you should make a closed off section that is 420 friendly.

kellian1
kellian1

2 years before bar rescue swoops in and we have an epic John Taffer V. Cliff Bleszinski match which will end with Cliff in full gears of war armor ready to throwdown, only to be yelled at for his poor bar and he'll run away crying, closing the doors forever

unreal849
unreal849

@olddadgamer  Sam Adams and some of the best microbreweries in the States. I do love our beer.

pyro1245
pyro1245

@olddadgamer  haha right. what do you guys have up there? Magic Hat and Harpoon? I'll take NC breweries over New England any day.

hystavito
hystavito

@wgerardi @xcollector  He isn't the first person from another industry to think he has some unique insight into the restaurant business, and he won't be the last :).

Carpetfluff
Carpetfluff

@b74kd3th Sure. He tweeted that if you went to his bar the other day he might show you some concept art from his new game on his phone....whooooo.

EasyComeEasyGo
EasyComeEasyGo

This is the kind of comment I was expecting the moment I click on this article.

homelessgamer
homelessgamer

Sam fukin adams! Really? Do you drink rams piss too?

homelessgamer
homelessgamer

Nope northern California has the best micro brews.