By Morgan Bryce
Opelika videogame and anime-comic enthusiasts now have a new place to share their passions with others.
NERDtorch Café, located at 225 S. 8th St. in downtown Opelika, is owned and operated by Chicago native Nigel Mongerie and his wife Leilani.
Nigel, an anime comic-book writer/developer, said the business plays a crucial role in uniting Opelika/Auburn’s ‘nerd’ community, as well as funding for his planned future multimedia platform that will produce both comic books and 3-D action films.
“Comics are very, very expensive and NERDtorch is my funding for that … we haven’t gotten to that point yet that we’re funding things. I want to position myself to be involved in the community that is looking for the type of content I’m creating,” Nigel said. “For example, I get to provide them a cool place to hang out as well as them helping me come up with different comic ideas and stories. It’s just about having a community where you can hang out and bounce ideas off each other.”
From the latest Xbox-One gaming system to old-school platforms including Sega Genesis and Nintendo GameCube, Nigel said he has systems and games that are popular and appeal to a wide audience.
Nigel added that the togetherness and “living-room type feel” of his business are major factors in the early success of his business.
“The video-game industry is getting away from making split-screen games, which means people can no longer play in the same room together. I think more people wanted to have that community aspect of playing with people that’s in the same room with them, and I think we’re really giving people a great chance to do that with the games and systems we have,” Nigel said.
NERDtorch also offers concessions, t-shirts and other merchandise, as well as sit-down areas for playing card and board games, reading comic books and sharing friendly conversation, according to Nigel.
Membership plans include a one-day pass for $10, $25 for the standard/monthly pass, and $250 for a yearlong pass.
For more information, visit www.indietorch.net/nerdtorchcafe or email Nigel at firstname.lastname@example.org. The business is open 6 p.m. – midnight Monday-Saturday.