The Lower East Side’s newest cafe has a theme not frequently seen in the borough: online gaming. Waypoint Cafe opened this week at 65 Ludlow Street with 31 personal gaming stations, plus coffee from Intelligentsia and pastries from Amy’s Bread.
Game bars are not a new concept for New Yorkers — arcade games, board games, hand sports, and more proliferate at places across the city like Barcade, Fat Cat, and Royal Palms — but most straight-up video game cafes have thus far been sheltered out in Queens. Waypoint Cafe is one of the first to enter Manhattan, though there are nearby gaming spots like Nebulous Gaming and Xenozero, sans food.
To keep gamers going for hours, there is coffee, tea, pastries like croissants, cookies, and muffins, and wraps. Those who want a break from the action, or simply not to play, can sit at one of the 18 seats toward the front.
First-time cafe owner Luigino Gigante is a former digital anthropologist and video game reviewer and decided to open a place for the gaming community to gather. The 31 personal stations are set up with Steam and Blizzard accounts to play popular games like League of Legends, God of War 2, Street Fighter, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, and other e-sport V-5 and competitive game go-tos. Stations are $5 per hour for use, and there’s also a rentable streaming booth for Twitch and YouTube.
Waypoint is now open daily at 10 a.m., until 12 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.