I haven't been to GenCon in over a decade but previously, I remember being able to go to a few restaurants and bars and they were sort of part of the weekend, unofficially. I saw that a bunch of places I went to my last trip have closed sadly. Some gave away swag like tokens or dice and others had on-theme beers. Some even had rooms where vendors were testing out games with patrons for free. Is there any sort of master list that contains this info? Can anyone chime in with the places they know will be unofficial GenCon 2023 participants?
Unfortunately, the two places that got heavily involved in Gen Con (The RAM and Scotty's Brewhouse) have both closed. Since then most of the nearby places just do food specials; they haven't been involved much with themes, sponsors, and swag like the RAM and Scotty's Brewhouse used to.
That's a bummer. I feel like that's such a missed opportunity for local establishments. I'm sure they get business simply from overflow of all the attendees so it probably requires little effort on their part. It would be a whole lot cooler if there were incentives though!
It really is a huge missed opportunity. Goodwood Brewing is in the RAM's old location, and the servers were excited to see Gen-Con and were very friendly when I went on the Tuesday before last year, and comped my drink when something went wrong with the order, so like, all it would take is hanging up some banners and showing nerdy stuff on the TVs and they would be nearly to 2003-era RAM (well O.K. a themed menu would really be essential but I will take either a themed menu OR a nerd-appearing environment even if I would prefer both).
Regarding Goodwood their first year in business was the weird Gen Con that was a month later, limited attendance, and just... weird. Last year they had horrible problems with their AC at the worst possible time that probably soaked up most of their attention.
Given their location and the RAM's history with Gen Con I'd encourage everyone to reach out to them on social media, call the place directly, whatever. Let them know you'll definitely plan to give them your business and mention how much you enjoyed what the previous owners did in their location. That kind of enthusiasm results in more business, better tips, etc. Let them know exactly what you're looking for during the convention, so they don't have to guess.
Doesn't Gen Con have a good relationship with Visit Indy, the Indianapolis tourist bureau?
Shouldn't Visit Indy be telling local businesses what a good opportunity this is?
I feel like there could be so much better coordination and communication here.
Maybe Visit Indy is just asleep at the switch.
If Visit Indy isn't doing so, I'd hope Gen Con itself is.
Heck, even I'd talk to some managers as a customer just to pitch them ideas. Server cosplay, themed menus and offering, etc., it'd just be an awesome thing if they did it.
Well, if they did it willingly and to have fun themselves. Things can't have the joy squeezed out of them; could you imagine being a worn-out food service employee being told they had to come up with a costume? That's a good way for a restaurant to kill morale. But if they were given the option to have fun with it, that could fly. AND it would help relieve the tedium of same-old job same-old day.