Geeks, you’re getting your very own cafe.
That’s thanks to Laura Benson and Neil Estaris as well as Sacramento Downtown Partnership’s annual Calling All Dreamers competition, which wrapped up today. Entrepreneurs submit business plans, experts widdle down applicants to a few finalists, and then members of the public vote for what business they most want to see open downtown.
Benson and Estaris won with Oblivion Comics & Coffee, a cafe that sells vintage and new comics while specifically catering to Sacramento’s thriving community of geeks. They’ll receive a start-up package valued at $110,000, including up to six months of free rent downtown.
“We’re trying to revitalize the comic book industry,” Estaris says. He acknowledges that Sacramento already has comic book shops, but argues they appeal to a different demographic. “I never really have the urge to stay at comic book shops. It’s not catered to people who would want to stay and hang out, chat about movies or read.”
For that reason, Oblivion will be a card-free haven—think Magic: the Gathering—but Estaris expects to regularly host events and nights dedicated to playing other games. All the while, folks can sip on beverages made with Chocolate Fish Coffee Roasters beans in a designed space Estaris describes as “a representation of a pocket universe.”
There will also be artisanal toast, via the San Francisco-grown super-trend. Oblivion is still working on securing a baker for the bread, which will be thickly sliced and toasted with a generous amount of butter and variations on a cinnamon-sugar topping. Since this is Sacramento, Oblivion probably won’t charge $4 for a slice, Estaris says.
Oblivion is actively negotiating for a lease on K Street, selected for its proximity to the Sacramento Convention Center, where conventions like Wizard World Comic-Con and SacAnime take place. Look for Oblivion’s opening by the end of 2016.