Stockton is continuing to adapt and expand in the entertainment field.
On March 15, a gaming lounge, the Spacebar opened on 4343 Pacific Avenue, located next to Tiger’s Yogurt.
The lounge is an open and inviting space with 4K televisions dedicated to consoles flanking the right side of the entrance, and computers flanking the left, all of which are custom built rigs straight from the owner Jeremy Cabaccang’s labors.
Customers are also able to purchase other rigs Cabbacang built.
The consoles range from a PS4 Pro, a one of a kind Xbox One Scorpio, PSVR, a Nintendo Switch and a Super Nintendo, all of which are playable for $6 an hour.
“You can play games with whoever you want, whenever you want, and you can go wherever you want and it’s fairly cheap,” said Sean Griggs, a first-time customer who came with his brother Connor.
The idea to open Space Bar struck Cabaccang after he left his position at Yelp in the Bay Area and returned to Stockton, where he discussed Stockton’s lackluster youth entertainment centers with his sister.
“Our city is awesome and it deserve to have awesome things. I felt like if I could offer a Virtual Reality set up, $1000 or something to get at the house, if I could offer it here for $6 an hour for kids where it’s a pipe dream to play VR, they’re going to come here and have a good time and that’s all I care about,” said Cabaccang.
Players are able to pick a station, either by themselves or with other players from playing small personal matches to full online games of Call of Duty: WWII and Fortnite on the PS4 Pro and Scorpio to teaming up and coordinating through round after round of League of Legends and H1Z1 on the PCs.
“Everybodies really happy to just play games … If I see some others are playing the same game I am I’m like “you guys want to play together? I’ll wait for you,” said John Shields, a frequent customer at Spacebar.
The easy-going nature of the lounge was inspired by Cabaccang’s time at Yelp, where he learned more about his career playing games and hanging around his coworkers during breaks.
Cabaccang bounces from station to station, conversing with the customers, helping them, building up a repertoire with each of them to a first name basis, getting to know them, listening to feedback and gleaming suggestions on what games to add to the overall collections at each station in the lounge from them.
“I just wanted an easy going environment where it’s an owner you can trust and an owner you can get to know. I try to stay on a first name basis with many of my customers … it’s not necessarily an experience as much as it’s a relationship we’re building. More than ‘I’m just a guy who owns a business,’ I’m a guy who’s just as passionate about games as you are or probably more so than you are,” said Cabaccang. “You’re more than a customer you’re a friend of mine.”
Cabaccang is looking to expand his services by adding tablets to his arsenal, gearing it towards art and teaching game design to his youngest customers.
Cabaccang reaches out to and works with with the local high schools to promote tech based careers to the students and recently performed a seminar at his old alma mater, Mc Nair High School.
“I went to McNair … they have the College for Everyone Scholars or something. It’s a club I believe or a program. Spoke to maybe a hundred seniors or juniors in the theatre about my professional career,” said Cabaccang.
Cabaccang also has hopes to sponsor a Stockton based E-Sports player, but has had no success in finding one.