Virtual reality venue to open in Bay View

Owners aim to attract industry creatives, consumers

Rendering of RSVR's exterior, at 2210 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. Courtesy of Ryan Spiering

Last updated on March 17th, 2020 at 01:36 pm

Bay View will soon become home to a new meeting and event space that focuses on virtual reality, for both work and play.

The concept, dubbed RSVR, is slated for a Jan. 2 opening at 2210 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.

Owners and brothers Ryan and Reid Spiering purchased the building two years ago with plans for a VR-related concept. Their initial interest was driven by a shared love for video games, but as architecture, engineering and construction professionals, they also saw opportunity for VR within the local market.

“One was the potential for entertainment and the other was the potential for businesses– health care, manufacturing and other people– who might use it for industry-related purposes,” said Ryan Spiering, who is a visualization and virtual reality specialist at Minneapolis-based architecture firm HGA.

Meanwhile, Reid Spiering works as structural engineer at Mequon-based CORE 4 Engineering.

Combining expertise, the brothers worked to build out a 1,000-square-foot space that houses three segmented VR areas, similar to an arcade, each equipped with a high-tech headset, overhead computer and HD screen.

But the ground-floor space can also be reconfigured in a number of ways, such as an open-concept room, to accommodate various purposes and groups for up to 25 people.

For example, a group of a few friends could rent one of the VR areas as a social activity or a business could take over the entire space, utilizing its projectors and VR technology to host a meeting or give a presentation.

“We designed a space that would be really fun and engaging to play games with your friends and have all the amenities that people would expect to have on a night out,” said Ryan Spiering.

Those amenities include the ability to serve alcohol. The space was not large enough for a permanent full-service bar, but beverage service will be part of the venue’s hourly rental rate, said Spiering.

Even more of a reason to apply for a liquor license was the property’s back lot, which now includes a 17- by- 15-foot deck for up to 50 people, fire pit and green space. Spiering said the additional space is ideal for a temporary bar area that would operate during summer events, and would allow larger parties to rent the space.

RSVR is now taking reservations through its website. Starting Jan. 2, the business will host groups Thursday through Sunday. Weekend hourly rates start at $60 per hour for groups of up to four people. Weekday rates will vary based on reservation size and amount of time.

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Maredithe has covered retail, restaurants, entertainment and tourism since 2018. Her duties as associate editor include copy editing, page proofing and managing work flow. Meyer earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University and still enjoys attending men’s basketball games to cheer on the Golden Eagles. Also in her free time, Meyer coaches high school field hockey and loves trying out new restaurants in Milwaukee.

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