Vivid Reality Homerton: ‘We wanted to immerse ourselves in something new’

Vivid Reality

Vivid Reality - Credit: Archant

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.

Vivid Reality

Vivid Reality - Credit: Archant

"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.

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"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.

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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."

Vivid Reality, 174 Homerton High Street, E9 6AG. Soft launch is from Monday, July 15. More details on their website, or follow their Instagram here.

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