Vivid Reality Homerton: ‘We wanted to immerse ourselves in something new’
PUBLISHED: 10:37 10 July 2019
A virtual-reality gaming lounge and vegan dessert bar is set to open in Homerton next week. Vivid Reality co-founders Rebekah Douglas-Bagley and Yemi Shodipo explain the concept behind their new three-storey space on the High Street.
"We opened up this store because we're bored, aren't we?" says Rebekah Douglas-Bagley, turning to her boyfriend and business partner Yemi Shodipo. He's nodding along in agreement.
"We're bored of the same old: the same activities, the same chill spots. We wanted to escape our boring reality, and immerse ourselves in to something new."
This yearning for something different - for something more exciting - has led Douglas-Bagley (26) and Shodipo (27) to launch Vivid Reality; a virtual-reality gaming lounge and vegan dessert bar. It's due to arrive on Homerton High Street for a soft launch from Monday, July 15.
This is quite a change of tack for the pair. They live in south-east London but chose Hackney for their new venue's base because it's a "hub for vegans" and "there's the vibe of Hackney that we love," explains Shodipo. The founders of Vivid Reality were previously working full-time jobs on top of running their own rental-car business.
"We wanted to do something where we were the owners, and we are both vegan and love gaming," adds Shodipo. "It's exciting for us; we like trying new things. It's a new venture to give it a go and try something different."
Set across three levels, Vivid Reality's ground floor will be home to the main virtual reality gaming lounge, where they'll have a wide variety of headsets immersing the player in shooting games, zombie games, sky-diving and exploring under the sea experiences.
Downstairs will be a chill-out spot furnished with a private cinema, bean bags, sofas and retro games, then on the top floor is the vegan dessert bar, where the venue will offer coconut & vanilla protein pancakes and chocolate-chip muffin platters. There's also to be fresh juices and create your own milkshakes. Of course, all of the above are to be 100 per cent plant-based.
Shodipo and Douglas-Bagley went to Stratford to introduce Vivid Reality to bewildered Westfield shoppers in June - exactly the kind of people that this new venue has been created for.
"That's our target market - somebody who wants to try VR for the first time," Shodipo explains. "For someone who doesn't have the equipment at home, it's a chance to come and have a go.
"You're fully immersed. It's crazy; when you've got that headset on, you're actually there. You actually feel like you're in the game."