7010 Easy Wind Drive, Ste 150      512-538-1516      Hours: 11 AM - 11 PM, Sun - Thurs, 11 AM - 2 AM, Fri - Sat

Help Save Vigilante

Thank you: the last 8 months have been the journey of a lifetime. Unfortunately, it has become clear that Vigilante will close its doors if its current level of patronage continues. While the danger is not imminent, without a course correction it is inevitable. With the help of your feedback, we have been driven to push ourselves every day. Vigilante is a challenging, ambitious and original concept. But with your input we have grown into the restaurant we wanted to be when we opened in February.

How Can I Help?

Thai Fighter Slider, Hot Pie’s Hot Pie, Bless Your Heart, South of the Border Spring Roll

Try Our New Fall Gastropub Menu

After refocusing from fusion food to bar fare in June, Vigilante’s kitchen set a goal of elevating that menu to “gastropub fare” (a bar with high quality bar food). With new kitchen leadership and a whole new fall menu we are starting the rebranding process from Vigilante Gaming Bar to Vigilante Gastropub and Games. Expect to see this change take place over the next week! Experience four new salad rolls, four new pizzas, three new appetizers and six new  sliders (plus your old favorites) with increased portion sizes at the same $13 meal price. For the first time, we have achieved an 8 week run of nothing but positive food review comments, and only 1 sub 5 star review. Thank you: with your help we have become the restaurant we always envisioned. Here’s the new menu:

Plan a group outing for our social hall.

When we opened, our layout was not conducive to larger parties. Since then, we have doubled our parking capacity and quadrupled our capacity for large parties by rearranging half the restaurant into beer garden seating. We’ve also increased the number of copies of our most popular social games. Have 12 friends who want to play What Do You Meme? We now have the space to serve everyone and their grandmother.

 

Enjoy a Happy Hour with New Sake Cocktails and Mario Kart

Plus, we now feature a Mario Kart/Smash Bros/Zelda rig at the bar. $4 Texas Draft Beers and $5 Sake bombs from 4pm to 7pm Monday to Friday makes for a helluva good time. (ps. We also installed sun shades to kill the glare inside and patio furniture to enjoy the great weather outside).

We are also proud to announce we now exclusively carry sake from Austin’s own (incredible) Texas Sake Company. We are now combining their amazing sakes with new in house infusions and cocktail/bomb combinations. Warning: our drinks have gotten a lot stronger.

Come cowork over lunch!

We offer 3 of our new, amazing plates for $9.75 between 11am and 4pm. We also don’t charge any table or game fees before 7pm on weekdays.With 1700 sq inches of space, power outlets at every table, new acoustic panels and 100% service light functionality, our space is an ideal coworking zone.  Or, if you’re on a quick lunch break: we plate all in one course for a swift lunch experience.

 

Finally:

We have prepared more changes for the coming weeks, and will be rolling them out one week after another. We aren’t perfect, but Vigilante is growing in leaps and bounds, and we will continue to push ourselves until we can impress every patron that comes to us.

Traditionally, you only get one first impression. Come see how much we’ve grown. Help keep the dream alive. We are excited to revamp that first impression. We are excited for you to meet the new Vigilante.

 

With love and gratitude,

Preston

Categories: Blog

34 Responses

  1. Matt says:

    A friend of mine went today (10/19). We like the new menu, (Brussels salad, seoul slider, a pizza, and the strawberry sake.). The bill was a lot let expensive compared to previous visits. We played Mario kart for a good while. We will definitely be coming back many more times in the future.

  2. Tess says:

    Oh, I do so hate the word GastroPub. It makes you think of your intestines and the digestive process itself, and in itself is EXTREMELY unappetizing and unappealing. Change it to GourmetPub instead. That at least puts the attention back on the food and clearly advertises the quality. I also hope you keep the Gaming atmosphere as it’s the main attraction.

    • Jason H. says:

      GourmetPub is clever, but those of us who search for Gastropubs because we like them might miss out.

      Looking forward to checking out these new menu items. I’ll drag some co-workers there tomorrow.

    • David says:

      Gastropub means “it’s a bar with food that is good.” “Gastro” is the part that tells you it’s got food. It’s not a term they invented and it’s the correct industry term for what they are.

    • Hi Tess!

      We’ve recently refocused our menu based on feedback from our patrons. We’ve moved away from fusion foods now focus on high quality bar foods: sliders, pizza, chicken tenders, french fries, other fried goodies, plus a few salad rolls and new desserts. We have seen a sharp uptick in our food sales over the past 2 months, a huge indicator that our food quality is now restaurant level. The vast majority of our patrons now dine while they game.

  3. Jared says:

    I didn’t even know this was a place. Looks delicious. I would organize a Geeks who Drink or something once a week and promote the hell out of it on FB and Reddit.

  4. Mark Haller says:

    It’s evident that at a place like vigilante details don’t go unnoticed. If you look closely, the quality, creative thought, and carefulness come to light in subtle ways. I’m very excited to see how this all star team changes their game to deliver even harder to their patrons. Kudos!

  5. Silver Eagle says:

    I love the idea of coworking space, but it’s not made clear in this post whether WiFi is readily available at the location. A capable and reliable WiFi signal would be very important to encouraging coworkers to come and stay in the area.

  6. Eric says:

    You need either more customers, customers to repeat more often, or more residual income on each visit. For our group we go about once every four to six weeks, which isn’t much but the most frequent single place for either food or entertainment outside of movies. I like the new menu but doubt that will drag us there twice as often, we just like to mix it up.

    If other groups are the same, then you need more people to put you in their rotation, like Jared above hasn’t even heard of you guys yet. Despite being a gaming nerd I’ve never seen an advertisement from you since you opened. FB would seem to be a no brainier, or if you’re doing it open up your target audience.

    Lastly you can make more per visit by selling some games. Obviously it would be difficult to dedicate the floor space Emerald Tavern does, but all the little party games like Bears vs. Babies or Fluxx would be easy to keep in the back, and if patrons liked them you could offer them a retail copy.

    Just feedback, love you guys and would hate to see you go!!

  7. Ben Holder says:

    Are you going to be hosting the virtual blizzcon? Or any of the overwatch OWL games?

    • We would love to stream some E Sports games, but we need to gauge interest and setup first. Right now our projector behind the bar has great visuals, but the audio can become a large distraction for customers wanting to just play board games.

  8. Katie says:

    I would love to come, but here are the reasons it’s not ideal for my groups: Vegan options have all but disappeared, so I wouldn’t be able to order a plate, you can’t reserve a table or space unless you join the secret society, and competing businesses DON’T charge for game use! You really have to start seeing your game collection as an investment to getting people in, not a strategy to make more per table. That’s how you get people through the door; people who would be happy to eat and drink through a few hours of gaming. A regular pub wants to turn tables over quickly, games encourage people to sit and stay, and keep ordering.

    • Jaime says:

      The above is a fair observation. We paid for membership in order to reserve a table but the place was close to empty when we arrived and stayed that way for hours. We felt a bit cheated by that. Paired with frankly terrible food and a lack of coffee drinks, we have not been back. You might be seeing the result of 8 months of bad food and charging for games when no one else in town is doing that. I’m not saying anything that hasn’t already been said, I’m just throwing in my 2 cents. Also, you have a lot of exceptionally bad yelp reviews but it doesn’t seem that anyone from Vigilante has responded to any reviews either thanking them for coming or reaching out to those customers who had a bad time to invite them back to give you a second or third chance. The majority of the bad reviews express initial excitement about Vigilante but go on to neg the food and being charged for games, so there’s a large pool of early adopters out there who had a bad time. Your first customers could be your most loyal, letting those reviews slide means you have people who are serious about gaming out there who left with a low opinion of VB. If you ask around Austin for places to meet up for gaming, people suggest first Emerald Tavern, then Dragons Lair, lastly Vigilante with the caveat that the food is terrible and that you charge for games. Glad to hear you’ve changed your chef and kitchen staff, the food quality is the primary reason we have not been back. The secondary reason is being charged for game rental.

      • Fred says:

        Lmao they replied to the positive people in the comments but not yours, just like on Yelp.
        Honestly it’s not a shock at all that it’s hurting. Their beer list is terrible and the people running the bar don’t know what they heck they’re doing.

  9. David says:

    Here’s my rundown. We went because they advertised vegan options, but when we got there we found that to be somewhat overstated. We were disappointed with paying more for pizza with vegan cheese and not getting enough to make it even taste like it’s present. It was barely there. Meanwhile the regular pizzas are of course stacked with cheese. Even with a relatively small upcharge it felt cheap. Also, there’s a sense of vigilante “snatching defeat from the jaws of victory” by not making vegan food items that intuitively seem like they would be. The “you’re vegan, that must mean you hate food that tastes good” vibe seemed present based on the food we received. The menu seems to roll with the “sodium = flavor” assumption which is not totally invalid, but modifying it for vegan meant there was now no flavor.

    Every food item we had was very average, and in Austin that makes for worse than average. The food, guys. I know this could piss off the resident food visionary but there seems to be a lack of love for the balance of dishes. It’s not because I’m vegan. Some of what I had makes me tempted to challenge that the kitchen is “scratch”.

    The waitstaff was slow, inattentive, kind of aloof, non-diverse, and discouragingly uneducated about the menu. They don’t come off as professional waitstaff but gamer kids… they can be both.

    I’m not 100% sure that the ownership understands Austin. There’s nothing subversive about the place (it stops with the logo). No Austin staples are on the menu. The waiter notification buttons are novel, but feel like they create an additional disconnect from the waitstaff and after the first time are tiresome. Too mechanically Pavlovian and I’m sure the waitstaff hate them.

    I love the interior and concept but something about the tone is wrong. Not like sinister but where it matters the place seems to be pitched toward ONE TYPE of sweet-spot gamer demographic and doesn’t do enough to bring in others. The website “our team” section is loaded with self-pleased gaming references and the restaurant echoes that with its vibe. IT COULD BE MUCH WORSE. But give us more reasons to leave the living room. Make the food better. Bolder. And by “bolder” I mean the opposite of what Chili’s would call “bold”. More flavor, fresher ingredients. The drink prices and ambition seem disconnected from the food somewhat, and should be simpler and cheaper. You have a situation where racking up a bill with decently-priced food is sabotaged by the drink pricing. The place is way too loud and consideration of other tables is in no way encouraged by the establishment. Not much is there to draw in non-white non-males (saying this as a white male), and no, visually referencing Harry Potter doesn’t give you any points.

    Just what I’ve written here makes me think, wow… y’all are trying to do too much at once, and it’s fatiguing. Not at all like playing games at home OR that fun, rowdy “bar on trivia night” feeling.

    You have a good concept, but there’s something about the way all of it is approached that doesn’t land right. Wild idea: stop charging for games. Simplify the transaction for patrons and put your emphasis on the food/drink (where it is needed). The feeling of needing to keep it not too crazy made me feel boxed in. The model of needing to keep track of your budget in 3 different ways (food/drinks/games) instead of the normal 2 (or 1) is actually kind of stressful. I feel like there’s a general unawareness of the tiny things that rhythmically build resentment toward a restaurant experience. You guys are trying to do so much at once and with that ambition it HAS to be dead-on with the quality. The restaurant is only an advertisement for what it could be until then.

    • Thomas says:

      I second the part about having to pay to play. I get you are trying to make more money, but people are more likely to just bring their own game, I know I did. Maybe just say if people order food or a drink then they can play a game for free. Then you can focus on making money from your bar and food. Just a thought, and I don’t financially if that is good or not just a thought.

    • Anon says:

      This guy just unironically complained that the waitstaff at a gaming bar is “non-diverse”. Ever stop to consider that the waitstaff they get is dependent on who applies to work there?

      I think it’s safe to ignore his comments.

  10. David says:

    Two more comments:
    You doesn’t make gamer culture seem appealing. Everything is kind of a reference. Do something more differentiate yourself from and to pull in people who are not part of the giant toxic clique that is mainstream Internet gamers. I was a huge gamer but that’s why I am not so much anymore.

    And host your own events… you push “do events here!” with a voraciousness that seems almost intended to guilt. Gamer culture lives in living rooms; and many of them fully intend to stay there. Do stuff that isn’t JUST gaming, but gaming adjacent.

    • Justin says:

      +1 for you guys hosting more events. I love the concept of you guys, but never find myself going there.

      I have a gaming group with a pretty comprehensive library. When I went last time, I thought it’d be fun to try the potion explosion expansion, which you didn’t have. It wasn’t too suprisng, but ultimately every game in your library I’d be interested in playing I can mostly find in my circle. I think this will be an area that’s hard to have every game/expansion/etc – and realistically you’ll have a hard time winning over gamers like me here just based on the library alone.

      As an alternative, if you did some kind of organized event targeted towards people who are looking to meet new people to game with, it would be the best chance of getting me to come out more often. I think you’ve done a good job designing for instance to have lights to indicate gamers are looking for an extra person. But the turn out has always been so low there when I’ve gone, I’ve assumed if I showed up I would see anyone looking for someone to play and it would be a game I wanted to play. I hoestly don’t care about the price, but it think that’s your biggest hurdle. Maybe consider something like before noon on Sundays it’s free to play, with minimum $5 for purchase, and starting at noon you’ll loosely help organize solo people into groups.

  11. Thomas says:

    Another thing you could do is sell come game products if you want that side of the business. Here is my free idea. Friday Night Magic Draft with Drafts. I dont even play magic and i would be down for that. Play magic and drink some beers. Maybe do a special on the beers for players playing like a drink coupon or something like that.

  12. Nathan says:

    I would consider trying to do regular events through meetup. There is a very active gaming community on there in Austin. Also maybe host tournaments with a prize for top 3 and a $5 entry fee.

  13. Dave-O says:

    It’s never a good sign when the burgers are taller than they are wide. Also, slider means “small burger” so you’re basically saying “It’s tall, but it’s small!”

    Just to make sure I understand you correctly. You’re trying to get people to come and meet there and eat there. And you’re charging a $2 split check fee? After just putting in larger tables to try to encourage groups to come? A split check fee that nobody else charges. That any half-competent server can handle with their eyes closed. Ditch the split check fee and I’ll arrange to meet some friends there and give you another try, to see how the food has improved. If you do better than last time, I’ll delete my old 2 star review and give you a new review based on how you’re doing today.

    • Roger says:

      I think what you’re referring to is the “split plate” fee which only applies to people who share the meal deal. It’s not for splitting checks, which would be dumb. It’s for sharing a meal, which isn’t unusual for restaurants.

  14. Crestview says:

    I live down the street but unwilling to frequent due to the table charge. My friends are also annoyed by it. That cost should be inherented into your food/drink menu. My two cents.

  15. Josue says:

    I just revisited Vigilant this week. The food from the new menu was really good. The one thing that would get me there more frequently is a full liquor license and outdoor seating.

  16. Fsociety says:

    First off, I like that you are being so open about this. I believe the changes you are making are a step in the right direction. I’ve been several times and I’ve always thought the food should be less clever, more satisfying – Good change. The environment is already great; far more inviting than ET and Dragon’s Lair IMHO. The last few times I’ve come we have only played one or two games (4 players usually) and the fee of $20 is kind of high. Perhaps you can simply add $5-10 to every bill that doesn’t spend at least that much instead of charging for the library outright. The truth is that it’s not really about the cost – I commonly spend over $100 on dinner. It’s more about what I’m getting for that money. I think doing things that are focused at the casual gamer is very wise. When I mentioned that you would have Mario Kart at the bar my SO giggled and said we need to go again soon. We will see you again soon.

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