Jewish Journal


August 18, 2005

Gamer Geek Goes Lounge Chic


Scoring on a Saturday night just got a whole lot easier for gamers, and they have an Orthodox Jew to thank.

Arena Interactive Lounge offers a 21st century take on the arcade -- a Santa Monica-adjacent, nerd-hip destination that features a modern lounge vibe.

It's the brainchild of 27-year-old Ron Rosenberg, an observant Jew who grew up in Pico-Robertson, attending Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy, Yeshiva University High School and USC.

Rosenberg was a gaming neophyte when he opened his first shop in December 2004. He was hoping to augment his income as a budding property manager, after following his father into the real estate biz. But soon, "I was putting every bit of energy into the store," he said.

Before long, he dreamed of creating a comfortable, more spacious, more consciously designed space where gamers could play and buy games.

Arena opened earlier this month, featuring custom-made Pyramat couches with embedded sound systems, 50-inch HDTVs and every major gaming platform. The second floor of the 3,000-square-foot retail space even features a VIP room for private (read: bachelor) parties.

For Rosenberg, whose wife is now a Sony PSP widow, this career shift is a far progression from his immediate post-college years, when he taught English and history to at-risk yeshiva kids in New York.

Rosenberg's father was nervous when his son's attention strayed from real estate, the younger Rosenberg said, but "now he's coming around."

Arena Interactive Lounge is located at 11512 Santa Monica Blvd., West Los Angeles. For hourly rates or more information, call (310) 479-9759 or visit www.arenalounge.com.


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