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The Deep End: a different kind of bar

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playing games

Paige Champagne
Craig Gregg, psychology freshman, Spencer Smith, mass communication freshman, Randell Odom, pre-vet freshman, and Allison Atherton mass communication freshman, play Super Smash Bros. at The Deep End.

Any student in need of a cheap, entertaining place to spend a night out should look no further than The Deep End, an arcade and bar owned by three local Wichita Falls residents, Jason Hester, Michael Hitt, and Matthew “Crow” Bridges.Hitt said, “It gives a feeling of family, friendship, and fellowship that I think you don’t get at a lot of other establishments.”

Entry to The Deep End is $5 at the door, and from there you can play for as long as you want.

Hester said, “You can’t go anywhere and play a game all the way through for less than $5.”

The “barcade” features occasional live music with genres ranging from metal, hip hop, to even Tejano and high school bands. They also host special event nights such as comedy nights, trivia, karaoke, and their new roast events.

Cody Parish, the coordinator of the Redwine Honors Program and an MSU alumni, said he frequents the arcade and says his favorite event is trivia.

“For me it’s trivia, but I think karaoke is an easy close second because it’s just, they don’t have anyone else come in and do their karaoke, it’s all them,” Parish said, “They’ve got their own stage and sound system and they’re really fun guys, very down to earth. They make a lot of fun jokes. It’s just a good vibes good atmosphere place.”

When it comes to games, The Deep End offers a wide variety. From standard arcade games, to card and board games and even console games.

Hitt said, “I enjoy [air hockey] because of lot of people enjoy the air hockey. Pinball–Rocky & Bullwinkle, classic Mario Bros. That’s my [favorite].”

The owners of The Deep End said they prefer to think of it as primarily an arcade that also happens to have a bar. In fact, before 9 p.m. The Deep End is open to all ages, after that it’s 18 and up, but they say that it’s very much a family place.

Hitt said, “If you don’t think it’s a family establishment, you’ve really gotta come during our early hours on Saturday and Sunday and just see how many families are in here.”

One of the things that the owners said that they liked was the relaxed environment open to everyone, and how easy games can make it to meet new people.

Hester said, “‘Hey, I need somebody to play air hockey with, jump on? I need a partner.’ ‘Cool man, hey nice to meet you, I’m Jason. Okay, let’s get a beer,’ and you come back and ‘Hey there you are, let’s play this again.’ You meet people. At a regular bar you just sit here by yourself and hope to God somebody talks to you.This way it gives you something to talk about.”

In fact, the owners said they are very accepting of all sorts of different people, claiming they want The Deep End to be a safe place for anyone to go to and have fun without worrying about the opinions of others. Graduate counseling student and The Deep End employee, Kylie Overbey said that’s her favorite thing about it.

“I wanna say we attract a specific crowd, but it’s like we attract the anti-specific crowd, if that makes sense, and I love that,” Overbey said, “People from all different walks of life can come in here and feel comfortable. It doesn’t matter how you’re dressed or you know what kind of music you like to listen to. Pretty much anybody can walk in here and fit in and I love that.”

 

In an earlier version of this name, we misspelled Craig Gregg’s first name. The Wichitan apologizes for the error.

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The Deep End: a different kind of bar