Burbank, CA

Guild Hall is a Friendly Oasis in Burbank for Gamers

Michael Loren

Guild Hall in Burbank is one of the most quietly lively bars or restaurants I've ever visited. I walked through the doors to see every table full of smilingly intense people sipping beer and cocktails and pouring over Dungeons and Dragons, Duel, and Settlers of Catan. My heart leapt. It's a nerd bar! In Burbank!

I moseyed to the bartender and asked for his favorite cocktail. He started mixing me something called a Jewelsmith with Four Roses bourbon, dry vermouth, campari, and orange bitters. As he expertly concocted my cocktail, I asked him all about the establishment. I was impressed and excited by everything I learned about this Burbank bar.

Guild Hall actually calls itself Burbank's "nerd bar." It has over 150 different board games available for patrons to play for free, a selection of craft beer any hipster would enjoy, and it is the spot to be for every eSports event. I looked up at the screens above the bar where someone else was playing a very graphic game where you hunt and shoot zombies. I loved it.

The atmosphere at Guild Hall is definitely the most unique thing about it. After I started my second cocktail, I began to walk around the tables to see what everyone else was playing. Some tables of people were intense, but others were super welcoming. One table of younger folks asked me to sit, gave me a stack of cards, and began teaching me some kind of game that had to do with cats. I was confused (also partly because of the cocktail), but I felt so welcomed. This was officially my new favorite Burbank bar.

My food arrived and I headed back to the kind bartender who happily answered all my questions about the establishment. First of all, Guild Hall says it serves "bar food" but it is by far some of the best bar food I have had in Burbank. My sweet potato tater tots were masterful and my juicy lucy burger was perfectly executed.

Often, bar food is a throwaway, but this bar food had personality and it was packed with flavor. I perused the rest of the menu and made a promise to myself to return to try out the pulled pork BBQ sandwich, the smoked brisket mac and cheese, the crispy brussels sprouts, and the deep fried oreo.

Guild Hall has been very vocal about the fact that they have been taking extra precautions during the Covid-19 pandemic, so they now offer curbside takeout and delivery for Burbank residents through Grubhub. And they have opened an adorable little outdoor patio. Overall, you can absolutely tell that the owners and all of the staff at this establishment care deeply about their restaurant, its food, its atmosphere, and its patrons.

I chatted a bit more with the bartender. It turns out, there is another location in Whittier and they apparently may be opening up more in the future. The Burbank location's hours have changed during Covid, so if you plan to visit, make sure to go Wednesday through Sunday from 5 pm to 10 pm. They're open until 11 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, but make sure to order your food sooner than later. The kitchen closes 30 minutes before the restaurant's posted closing time.

I took one last look around as I paid my bill and glanced back at the streaming video games above the bar. What a fantastic little place to come, chill, make friends, play games, and eat good food. In today's day and age, it's so good to connect with other humans who care. Guild Hall in Burbank is the perfect place to meet exactly that kind of people.

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Writer, dad, entrepreneur, observer, cautious optimist

Burbank, CA
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