8 Bytes Game Café located at 207 S. 3rd Street is hosting their final weeks of “regular business” and will be closing after Dec. 16, the owner said. A general explanation was posted on the 8 Bytes Facebook page on Dec. 1. The building 8 Bytes occupies has gone through three commercial occupants over the past four years. A few community members who did not want to be identified say the building may be cursed.
“We had known about two months before the public announcement,” Laramie Dragonettes Member, Carnivora Flora, said. “It really took our group by surprise and put us into a little shock.”
8 Bytes Game Café has been the new center of Laramie’s LGBTQ and Pride community for more than a year. The café promotes and hosts a Pride Night on Thursdays since the spring of 2017.
8 Bytes offers food, drink, and a digital or tabletop analog gaming experience. 8 bytes has also entertained the public with numerous concerts, comedic improvisational shows and drag shows.
“We really appreciate the outpouring of support and kind words,” Owner Ryan Kiser said. “However we still plan to host some events after [Dec. 16].”
Organizer and host of Geek Trivia, Charlotte Romero, said, “It’s a terrible tragedy. I know the owners are all moving on to new areas and it will probably be the end of an arcade in Laramie for a long time. I am really hoping that doesn’t happen, not just for the sake of the entertainment but Ryan has always managed to turn his businesses into a sort of home.”
8 Bytes gained much of its traction in Laramie as the Hero Depot Arcade on 2nd Street next to J’s Prairie Rose. After leaving that location and re-evaluating its business prospects they began a crowdfunding campaign on kickstarter.com to bring the vision back to life in a slightly new form at a new location.
8 Bytes’ Kickstarter page indicates it is a place that, “promises to provide the community of Laramie, Wyoming with quality food deep into the night for those late weekends in our small college town, as well as a venue for local talents, and—in a community with a dearth of opportunity to geek out—a safe and inviting place for general nerdery.”
“It’s a shame that Laramie has such crummy summer business,” Flora said. “We know that the space will be available to our Dragonettes for rent but we haven’t had to pay rent in the past because our crowds for the shows are so good.”
Redbush frontman and local concert promoter, JD Korpitz, said, “It’s a total bummer for the whole community.”