Happy 10th anniversary. And it’s a bitter sweet moment for us here at AFK. I can’t explain the joy we all feel for making it 10 years, and the pain that having to limp across this marker that was suppose to be a victory lap. This is normally where I tell you about all the joy and hope I have for the future. But I can’t do that. So instead I look back at the past and tell you how proud I am to have run this place for 10 years.
The photo above is from 10 years and 2 months ago. When we had just started out. None of us knew we’d make it this far. It was just a triumph to have a real location. I can tell you it didn’t feel real. I look back at saves of my old blog from back then and I can tell you how excited and scared I was. At some point I’d like to say those emotions changed, but every day I was excited to see what would happen with our weird little bar.
I think back to all the people who walked this path with me over the last 10 years. Even when their adventures diverted I was honored to spend my time with them. I think back to the original crew and how different it is now, but how they shaped the future of AFK. They taught me so much, even if they didn’t intend to. Now I see many of them and they proudly tell me how many years they worked for me. We reminisce about the past, and I couldn’t be prouder of the paths many of them decided to take. Words can’t really nail down how much I have loved all my staff.
It wasn’t just staff who joined in to this crazy adventure, but customers and regulars. You know who you are. The people proud to tell others they were their on the first night, or the first year, or the first Warrior Night. What menu items were secretly named after them. The first dates, reunions, best friends nights, weddings, baby showers, deck parties, LAN tournaments, and after hours movie watching. The long hours in the parking lot arguing about Marvel comics, world politics, dead languages, the best swords, and so much more. Our customers were and are the best damn people I’ve had the privilege of serving.
Some haven’t gotten to see this day, I hope we’ve done right by them. A moment should be given to those we’ve lost. The wakes, and funerals we’ve hosted throughout the years. The times we’ve cried together…the seats left empty. Some pains still fresh. Others dull. Never leaving us.
We stand here on the edge of the unknown again, and I’m both scared and excited. So raise you glass, even if you can’t be here with us today. Join us with a mead, a shot, an Ony, beer or cider. Shout cheers, skål, Prost, kampai, another one down the hatch, or FUCK IT and drink to us. Drink to you. Drink to the fallen. Because we’re all the things that have made up AFK and we ARE fucking awesome.