Nerds, geeks and dweebs rejoice! Geek culture now has a new hotspot in Atascadero with the opening of Club 42 on Wednesday, Feb. 1, named for the answer to the ultimate questions of life, the universe and everything from “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”
Atascadero resident Karen Evans and her son Robert had the idea for the club a couple of years ago when Robert and his friends would gather at his house for gaming sessions (think more modern versions of Dungeons and Dragons), and would often play late into the night. The only other alternative for local gamers was to travel to shops in San Luis Obispo or Santa Maria that host games. Now local gamers have a spot right here in Atascadero to gather and enjoy their hobby.
“Every single person in North County can come here any time they want, seven days a week and it’s a real chill membership,” Evans said. “This is definitely a geekfest, nerdiest — that’s the crowd I want here, people can just come and be themselves, wear a cape or whatever.”
The club, located next to Kennedy Club Fitness on North El Camino, provides facilities for gaming, movies, art and more. In addition to three big-screen TVs, there’s also a Playstation 4, a Nintendo Wii U, dozens of board games, art supplies and lots of comfortable nooks and crannies.
The club has an official calendar of activities including gaming sessions, movie nights, costume contests and more, but Evans said those are just suggestions and club activities are really driven by the desires of the members.
“Every room can be used for whatever a member wants to use it for,” she said. “So that’s kind of the idea that’s been brewing and I think it’s very organic. It’s going to flow however the members want it to flow. It’s just a multi-purpose place to have a good time and just be yourself. There’s no pretentiousness. There’s nothing serious about this place.”
Members are also encouraged to start new activities or clubs within the club and Evans will help to promote the activity through the club’s calendar and social media outlets.
“Members can come up with a club they want to do and it will get posted and promoted for the member,” Evans said.
Club 42 is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to midnight and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m., although Evans said that closing times are flexible depending on whether or not whoever is minding the club wants to stay later.
Membership is open to anybody over the age of 12, however at 6 p.m. the club is only open to those 16 years of age or older. Evans stressed that the club is not a daycare center or a teen center and does not provide supervision.
“But absolutely I would handle anything a kid needed and be there for them,” she said.
The club also has a snack bar stocked with a variety of pre-packaged snacks including ice cream, chips, mac and cheese, drinks and more.
There are three membership options — a flexible five-day punch pass for $25 that provides five visits at any time, a one-week pass for $15 or a month-long pass for $40. In addition, any person under the age of 11, those with developmental disabilities and senior citizens are free if accompanied by a member.
Evans is also looking for any artists who would like to display their artwork at the club — especially artists working in the genres of sci-fi, manga, fantasy, etc.
“I love art and I love to promote everybody’s art,” she said. “My dad’s an artist so I know how hard it can be to get your art seen.”
The club’s first big event — a Valentine’s Day costume contest — will take place Feb. 14 at 7 p.m.
“Do whatever,” Evans said. “Dress as your favorite character, or not. It’s totally no pressure. You could come in a bathrobe, I don’t care.”
For more information on Club 42, visit club42atascadero.com or call 805-460-7442.