Klas Bergqvist – Kappa Bar – Creating an esports bar

A few weeks ago we shared the news that Kappa Bar, the Swedish based esports bar had opened its third location in Jönköping, we reached out to Kappa Bar Co-Founder, Klas Bergqvist, to discuss what the future holds for Kappa, and delve into how the esports bar is working out for them.

We also spoke to Emil “Heaton” Christensen, who has recently invested in Kappa Bar, to find out what made him decide to join the esports bar and get involved in the launch of their latest store.

ESI: Tell us a bit about your background and what made you start Kappa Bar?

Klas Bergqvist, Kappa Bar. Credit: Mattias Landström, JKPG News

Klas Bergqvist: Like many others, I was gaming a lot in my younger days but I never was good enough to make a living off gaming (never even close haha). For the last twelve years, my colleagues and I have been running different kinds of restaurants(fine dining, event, nightclubs etc). 

When the scene got bigger and bigger I started to think that if we could take a lot of good decisions this actually could work and that we could grow! Our biggest challenge was to create a venue that attracted a big crowd as well as the hardcore gamers. We had to make an environment that is appreciated even by my mom. Esport isn’t in the basement anymore and we hope that our restaurants show that everybody can appreciate and visit an esports bar like Kappa Bar.

“We never started Kappa Bar to have one shop in Gothenburg. Our goal is the entire world.”

We never started Kappa Bar to have one shop in Gothenburg. Our goal is the entire world. In May 2016 we started our first Kappa Bar in Gothenburg. We wanted to start it in a market where we understand everything. We think that it’s really important to work with local entrepreneurs and in Gothenburg, we could be our own local entrepreneurs.

ESI: What makes Sweden such a great place for an esports bar?

Klas Bergqvist: Actually I don’t know if Sweden is better then any other places. Our government has many more rules than any other country for serving alcohol (that’s a good thing) but it makes it so much harder for people who don’t come from Sweden or have been living here for a long time. Besides that, we have the worlds highest tax for alcohol making it really expensive for people. If you can run restaurant in Sweden you can run it anywhere.

On the upside, we Swedes have always been in the frontline with and for esports. We have a lot of great players, icons and influencers who have always been pushing it and getting more people interested. Just look at Heaton’s journey in Sweden and what kind of legend-status he has achieved. We went from `the dirty thing` to the big stage, concept restaurants, schools and all the big brands fighting to take just a small inch of the stage.

ESI: You most recently opened in Jönköping, having opened in three locations in Sweden. Do you have plans to reach out further into Europe?

Klas Bergqvist: Just like esports, Kappa Bar has no limits. We chose to expand by franchising to keep up the pace and have the chance to work side by side with all the great, driven entrepreneurs out there. We are working day and night to expand in both Sweden, Europe and the rest of the world. As our homepage says – Do you want to open the next Kappa Bar?

ESI: What is the long-term goal for Kappa Bar?

Klas Bergqvist: Kappa Bar wants to grow in Scandinavia and then the rest of the world and be The number
one restaurant/bar for esport.

ESI: How has the initial Kappa Bar concept worked out for you and do you plan to make any
changes in the future?

Klas Bergqvist: Good question! Our venues for today is hosting 150 people, approximately 90 of them is seated.
Of course, we dream of having restaurants for 500 people but for now we think this is a good size for us. Our concept has worked out even better than we ever could imagine. The bold move from us was to link console games like FIFA, NHL, Worms together with CS, Dota, LOL etc. This was a strategic decision to attract a more broad public. But of course, we have changed a lot of small things from Gothenburg may 2016 until Jonkoping march 2018. We have a lot of people who visit all our restaurant and their response to Jonkoping has been amazing! We, like many others, have to always keep getting better, we can and will never be satisfied!

ESI: Heaton recently joined the team at Kappa Bar, how much will his experience help shape
Kappa Bar going forward? 

Klas Bergqvist: We are really amazed to have Heaton on our team. He is one of the biggest brands in esports and a really great guy. We think he will be a great player for our journey in Sweden but also in Europe and the rest of the world.

Heaton: I think that my experience from both being a professional player to becoming a team owner has shown me all the sides of esport, and I’m confident that my experience will take Kappa Bar to the next level.

“I visited the bar in Stockholm and the first feeling I got was, WOW, I need to be apart of this!”

ESI: What made you want to invest in Kappa Bar?

Heaton: I visited the bar in Stockholm and the first feeling I got was, WOW, I need to be a part of this! A place for esports fans to meet and watch the games together is something that I’ve been missing for so many years, and its finally here!

What’s next for Kappa Bar?

Klas Bergqvist: We recently launched our first franchise and we get approximately 5-10 requests per week so our main focus now is to take care, sort and meet all the potential people out there who wants to open the next Kappa Bar. If you are asking for the next city to be established you have to stay tuned to our social media and at www.kappabar.se