Shooters 2.0 gets a new home


Photo courtesy of Shooters 2.0/Warrior’s Den

Due to COVID-19, Ellensburg bar Shooters 2.0 is relocating to Cle Elum. Owner Mike Morgan is merging Shooters with Warrior’s Den, another bar he owns.

Holly Hunter, Staff Reporter

Shooters 2.0, more commonly referred to as just “Shooters,” has now permanently closed its doors at its Ellensburg location. The bar is relocating to Cle Elum in the same location as Warrior’s Den, a restaurant and lounge for adults and an after school hangout for kids. Owner Mike Morgan was the idea behind both of these places. 

The main reason behind the relocation were the uncertainties of COVID-19. They closed their doors on March 22 and began the relocation process to Cle Elum. It will no longer be called Shooters 2.0, so when it reopens following the current stay-at-home order, if people want to travel to Cle Elum to get their gaming kick, look for the name Warrior’s Den instead. 

Morgan said the choice to go forward with this relocation was less difficult than it was essential. 

“I think it was just the next step,” Morgan said. “I think it wasn’t a difficult decision but probably the only one decision besides closing them both. Having the revenue come in is the thing we were most worried about.”

While the name and location are different, Morgan plans to keep some of those key Shooters aspects in the lounge side of Warrior’s Den. 

“[The lounge] has a lot of the Shooters stuff in it that we brought down and just rebuilt and put in here so it kind of feels like Shooters,” Morgan said. 

Warrior’s Den does provide some things that Shooters didn’t offer to its customers. One new feature is an area for people under 21 to play. Morgan said Warrior’s Den has a program with mentors who bring the kids they mentor to play some games and hang out. 

“The mentors would bring their kids in to hang out here and we were going to some events with them right before the coronavirus hit,” Morgan said.

There’s still plans in place to do these events when the stay-at-home order is lifted. 

When Shooters was still in Ellensburg, students could go there to grab a drink and play some of their favorite games. 

Senior business administration major Connor Ford went to Shooters with his friends pretty often before they closed. He was unaware they had closed their doors in Ellensburg for good, but he has good memories of hanging out with his friends at the bar. 

“My friends and I would go there to play video games or card games together,” Ford said. “It was a great place to go play older video games that we used to play as kids in an environment that promoted spending time together.”  

Being at Shooters took Ford back to the days when he was younger and would play video games. 

“All of the consoles had multiple controllers and a large selection of games so you could really reminisce back to the days of playing games in your living room,” Ford said. 

While Ford didn’t know previously about Shooters closing, he said he will miss spending time there. 

“It does make me sad that a video game bar will no longer be in Ellensburg.  It was just a different experience compared to going to a normal bar where all there is to do is drink and watch TV,” Ford said. 

Ford said he will also miss the welcoming environment Shooters provided for its customers and the overall experience it offered. 

“The best thing is that it was a welcoming place to go drink and play cards, pool and video games. We don’t really have anything else like that in Ellensburg and there are places to do similar things in Seattle but that’s a far drive from CWU,” Ford said. “The drinks were all very unique, as was the setup of the bar in general, so I will be missing that experience.”

Alumna Audrey Vulcano visited Shooters a lot when she was a student and it wasn’t just to grab a drink. She enjoyed going just to study or hang out with friends sometimes. 

When Vulcano heard that Shooters was closing she was disappointed. 

“It kind of sucks, the end of an era,” Vulcano said. “It’s really the only bar you can go to just to have a drink, you know, you don’t have to shout to hear your friends talk and you don’t have to party to be there.” 

Vulcano gave credit to Morgan and said management takes their business seriously and that they really make it a place where people want to hang out and play games. 

“They put a lot of work into it, making it the sort of place you’d want to spend time and hang out and play games,” Vulcano said. “They put a lot of work into the atmosphere, they put a lot of work into the community, they’re truly great people.”

Morgan hopes the gaming crowd as well as college students will make the trip to Warrior’s Den when they are able to fully open again. They will still have the same drinks and beers as they always have along with a full menu of food.

“If they were part of the gaming community and came to Shooters before the coronavirus hit, we would definitely reach out to them and say, ‘hey, we still have all of our games and we’d like to have you come up and hang out,’” Morgan said.