After opening a few months ago at a small storefront in Park Slope, Brooklyn’s first and only virtual reality arcade, VR Bar, relocates to 261 Smith Street (at DeGraw) in Carroll Gardens today.
With his lease ending at 808B Union Street at the end of February, VR Bar’s owner Kishore Doddi didn’t want to renew a long-term lease there since he is shopping around for a larger space. The location on Smith Street is slightly bigger and offers him a month-to-month lease option.
The new 650-square-foot spot allows Doddi to set up 3 virtual reality systems as opposed to the two he had on Union Street. He would ultimately like to find a 1,000-square-foot venue where he can set up four systems and comfortably accommodate the demand.
“It’s sad to leave Park Slope,” Doddi said over the telephone on Tuesday, “but it’s exciting to test out a new area.” While Union Street brought in lots of business with birthday parties and typically busy Sundays when he was usually fully booked, the clientele consisted mainly of 7 to 14-year-olds and Doddi found foot-traffic slow in the evenings.
He’s hoping that busy Smith Street will continue to bring in the younger crowds but also attract a more mature clientele at night.
Doddi will continue bringing virtual reality to Park Slope by working with local schools. He will host a demonstration at the PS 321 Tech Day on March 25th. He’s hoping to hold similar events at schools in Carroll Gardens as well.
Doddi is looking forward to introducing virtual reality to a new neighborhood. “Smith Street is amazing,” he says. “I’ve always loved Smith Street.”