News broke last night directly from Mesa’s video game bar The Grid: Games and Growlers that after almost eight years, the establishment was closing its doors for good. Even though the writing was on the wall, the Facebook post from last night really bummed me out. I have a ton of great memories from The Grid and I wanted to take this opportunity just to talk about it.

My first time at The Grid was its soft opening way back in October of 2015. The LED bar top was an eye catcher, a good selection of games, arcades, and pinball and a fun environment. I would occasionally pop in over the years, playing NHL 95, Mario Kart 64, and a handful of other games until my visits to The Grid became regular. This was because my closest friends and I decided to participate in a new weekly trivia game. My friends and I formed “WWJGD”: What Would Jeff Goldblum Do and without bragging too much, we were pretty good. Weekly we finished in the top 3, regularly tasting the victory of first place as the categories were a wide variety of pop culture, history, sports, and music. This lead to many group photos to celebrate another successful trivia Tuesday. It wasn’t so much the trivia and the victories that were the best part, it was the fact that our group of friends found the time out of their busy lives to make this happen each week. From my friend Joey, having to participate in a dance off to determine the tie breaker for second place (in which his shirt was whipped off, securing our solo second place win), to another friend bringing a date who ended up in our photo which required a photoshop after their split. There was a lot of fun memories of being together at The Grid each week for several months.

It wasn’t just trivia either, my friend and I had a podcast for awhile and we recorded a hand full of episodes at The Grid. It was always a treat and the staff were always extremely nice and accommodating. We always were sure to order food and drinks which while the menu seemed to always change, the food quality at least stayed the same (your typical bar food that wasn’t over priced).

Concerts were held occasionally which included video game bands such as The Minibosses and Dratini on the Rocks which were always a highlight for me. If you’ve followed me on Twitter for awhile, you know I try to attend anything related to video game music here in Phoenix and The Grid was always a trusted spot that I knew would hold those types of concerts.

Tonight (Wednesday, May 10) is the final night of The Grid and I choose to remember it with all those fond memories. Going tonight would give me the same feeling that I get from taking the Christmas tree down but in this scenario, the tree will never go back up.

Enjoy these photos which were almost all taken by my buddy Joey.