Maxwell’s Bar and Grill, in Covent Garden, London, has been enjoying a surge of popularity and business following their new-found status as a PokéStop in the viral new game.
The Pokémon Go app was downloaded by millions in the week following its release, with the novelty of seeing childhood dreams of being a Pokémon Trainer in real life, not just the card game and Nintendo console game options, suddenly becoming a (virtual) reality.
The original games of the 90s involved capturing the powerful little creatures – ‘Pokémon’ is a Japanese transliteration of ‘pocket monsters’ – in ‘Pokéballs’, the iconic red and white spheres, and then training them up until they evolve, and using them to battle other teams.
Pokémon Go allows users to find Pokémon roaming free in their local neighbourhoods, and then to catch, train, and battle with them. However, a key part of the game is finding ‘PokéStops’, which allow the gamers to stock up on Pokéballs and Pokémon eggs. Accordingly, millions of locations across the world have suddenly found themselves catapulted to popularity, from bus stops to churches to even Auschwitz, and Maxwell’s is among them.
The Covent Garden based restaurant recently became famous for being the first in the UK to serve Freakshakes, but they have reported a 26% increase in customers following their first weekend as a PokéStop. Rare Pokémon such as Pikachu have been sighted there, making the lure even stronger for aspiring Pokémon Masters.
In response to the influx, Maxwell’s have now made it the sole responsibility of one employee to purchase and drop lures around Covent Garden, which attract Pokémon. They are currently spending up to £100 a day in real money on the virtual game to attract users to the restaurant.
The restaurant have also launched Pokémon inspired Freakshakes, donuts and cocktails to attract fans, and are hosting a ‘Pokémon Go Lure Party’ with over 400 gamers already confirmed to attend.
Anthony Knight, Maxwell’s marketing manager, remarked, “Never in my life did I think Pokémon would form part of my marketing strategy, but it is great fun, and allows us to engage creatively with our customers.”