Gaming Store in Natomas Fights to Stay Open

Gamerz Phunk Lab's gaming lounge in Natomas. / Courtesy Photo

Gamerz Phunk Lab’s gaming lounge in Natomas. / Courtesy Photo

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

The fun and games are turned on at Gamerz Phunk Lab in Natomas, but the plug could be pulled anytime this winter.

Two burglaries this year have prompted owners of the retail gaming store and lounge to considering closing.

“The community of Natomas has been great in supporting our small business,” co-owner MichaelButler said. “(But) we weren’t doing enough in business to cover our rent nor other bills, and with the two burglaries it just kind of put a dagger in us.”

A closure has been delayed – for now. Store ownership said they plan to remain open at least until their lease expires at the end of the year.

Butler and co-owner Curtis Whayne opened Gamerz Phunk Lab in September 2014.

The store was burglarized on Aug. 23 at about 5:10 a.m., according to Officer Doug Morse, Sacramento Police Department spokesperson.

Security camera videos of the burglary suspect have been posted on the store’s Facebook page. The videos show a man breaking through the store’s front glass door than rummaging through the store and office. He is also seen taking items from a safe.

The burglar took gaming consoles and cash, according to Butler.

The break-in was the second time in less than a year the store had been burglarized. The first incident occurred on April 20, 2015 when items valued at more than $1,000 were reported stolen.

Officers have not made any arrests in either case, Sacramento Police Department spokesperson Officer Traci Trapani confirmed.

“Both cases are suspended pending new leads in the investigation,” Trapani said.

To help generate additional revenue, Butler said the store has added stand-up arcade machines to the gaming lounge. The store also continues to host regular gaming tournaments.

“Things have been still kind of slow,” he said. “If we can’t get things to turn around by the December 31 deadline, then yes (we will close).”

Gamerz Phunk Lab is located at 4730 Natomas Boulevard in the Park Place II shopping center.

Gaming tournaments draw large crowds to Gamerz Phunk Lab. / Courtesy Photo

Gaming tournaments draw large crowds to Gamerz Phunk Lab. / Courtesy Photo


  1. I thought they were already closed. Maybe put up some signs in the back display outside to let people knowing they are open would be a good idea.

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