Denton arcade bar changes the game with tournaments and treats

Denton arcade bar changes the game with tournaments and treats

Denton arcade bar changes the game with tournaments and treats
October 07
00:48 2017

Darts fly through the air as cheers and laughter fill the crowded Game Changers Sports Bar and Arcade Grill. The hustle and bustle of the bar is quick, but the atmosphere is relaxed and easygoing.

Game Changers, which opened in July 2016, has a slightly different flair than most other drinking spots in Denton. Tournaments and competitions are held throughout the week, including dart tournaments, open mic nights, card nights, trivia nights and bingo.

One local couple, Alex Beitinger and Jason Delarosa, come out to play every Monday and sometimes play in tournaments on Fridays.

“Friends just asked us to play, and so we got started with the D-league,” Beitinger said.

The pair, as well as their son, play in the C-league of the Denton Area Darts Association.

“There are four leagues — A to D,” Delarosa said. “[There are] around 12 players to a team and about 10 teams per division, so that’s a lot of players.”

Delarosa said there are different skill and competition levels between the leagues. As you get closer to the A-league, the games get tougher.

“It’s always a good time in the C-league,” Delarosa said. “We just like to have a good time, so we come out, have a few drinks and just enjoy it.”

Darts aren’t the only activity the couple enjoys at the bar.

“The food is awesome, and at the end of every game night the bar gives every player a shot,” Beitinger said.

The family plays year-round for their team, Dartaholics, through the different seasons the dart league plays.

Even though their opposing team, Broken Darts, might have walked away with the win during their game, it is not about the competition.

“If you look around, you see a lot of different people who just go play darts,” Broken Darts player Paul Walton said. “It’s easy to get along with our

and the other teams because we all just want to have fun and play.”

Walton used to play in the A-league, but he prefers to play casually and have fun. He now plays in the C-league.

UNT alumnus Ross Pewterbaugh also plays for the Broken Darts.

“It’s free to play, and the bars pay the fees towards the Denton Area Dart League,” Pewterbaugh said.

Each team has a home bar. The Dartaholics home bar is Game Changers, while Broken Darts were visiting from RT’s Neighborhood Bar in Denton.

Darts dominate Mondays and Fridays and are arguably the bar’s most popular activity. However, there are other events throughout the week to keep customers and frequent attendees satisfied.

Nathan Giles, a cook at Game Changers, has been working on organizing a tournament for casual players of Magic: The Gathering, a trading card game that is popular with UNT students.

“If you’re really not that competitive, but still a fan of the game, this is the best place to be,” Giles said.

Giles took over the tournament from another employee when he started working at the bar.

“I used to work at a card shop in Oregon, so it just kind of made sense that I get involved in this,” Giles said.

The tournament is held every other Thursday and is open to all players.

Events happen all week long to draw people in to Game Changers. This can be very beneficial for the staff by giving them regular customers, but it also keeps them on their toes and lets them meet fresh faces.

“Tuesdays are open mic night for comedians, bingo is for the football games and then you have the popular dart nights on Mondays and Fridays,” bartender Nick Cohn said. “Fridays and Saturdays are our busiest nights overall, though. It’s a weekend in a college town, man. You know how it goes.”

Game Changers is decked out with enough activities to last the entire night. Arcade games, machines and five pool tables fill the space in between customers and activities. The bar is also made up of three different rooms for varying dining and seating atmospheres.

These aspects of the bar draw in an inclusive, ever-changing crowd.

“We’re so new, and Denton is a college town, so we see new people every day,” Cohn said.

Featured Image: After the question is announced, Trivia Night players discuss their answers to other members of their team Sept. 27. Dana McCurdy

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Austin Wagner

Austin Wagner

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