A hobby shop has recently opened right across the street from Bakersfield College, and many BC students have become regulars and go there for a place to hang out and play the many activities and card games.
Students may have noticed the fliers all around the BC campus for the anime hobby shop called Mega-Bitez, or the spray-painted logo as the sign in front of the store. Mega-Bitez was recently opened in October of 2016, though the store originally was located in Los Angeles.
Owners Roy Cortez, 25, and Eloise Cortez, 22, are happy to be a place for anyone to come in and be themselves with many other people interested in the same types of hobbies. Cards aren’t their only passion— they have so many other hobbies they offer at the Mega-Bitez shop.
The Cortezes originally wanted to open a tech repair shop, hence the name MegaBitez, though they are still working on getting their license to be a tech repair shop. For now, they decided to start as an anime hobby shop because they are both huge fans of the anime culture.
“The reason why we started the shop is because we love anime,” Eloise Cortez explained.
“He [Roy] got me into card games and I got him into collecting things, but together we love things like Gundam [anime series] and making models.
“We like so many different things, so that’s why we aren’t just a card shop, we do custom swords, custom apparels. I love doing all the creative stuff, and he [Roy] supports me!
“This is our passion, and we love to share our passion, but it’s more than just about the cards. We run anime shows for people to watch, like we’re watching Bleach right now for people who love anime have a place to watch it. I’m not a fan of it, but I know people love it.
“That’s why we started this, because we know there’s nothing like us and sometimes our customers have no place to go. Most go to school here, but the school is open for only so long, so we believe this is a great location for them.”
Both Roy and Eloise are thankful for their guests and they always make sure to help anyone out who is in need of something from the shop, and if they don’t have what they’re looking for, they will help a customer go where they would have an item by referring them to other shops.
Though many of their customers don’t always go in to play, they also use it as a place to study or do homework, and Roy and Eloise gladly invite anyone who is looking for a place to just hang out, study, or buy a snack.
Though both of the owners can’t run the shop all on their own, they have volunteers like Salvador Lobos who is still in high school, but is filling out his volunteer hours by helping around the store.
“Everyone is always so nice here and this is where I usually came all the time to relax and get away from everything that bothers me,” Lobos said.
“Roy and Eloise would help me out all the time with all the problems I had and they were great, and I would do anything to help them out.”
The shop hosts a variety of age groups, from the ages of 12 to 55, who all have a love for anime. The shop’s displays have many different types of cards that are offered, like Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh, as well as models from anime shows and Pop! Models.
On the wall, they have a lot of art that has been drawn by costumers, like Deadpool riding a bulbasaur. They offer some tournaments at the shop as well and also encourage their customers to make a tournament whenever they want.
By having a small entry fee, they can get a prize for the winner of the tournaments.
The most popular card game that was being played was Yu-Gi-Oh.
Two BC students who often go there when they don’t have class, Lorenzo “Sylveon trainer” Ramirez and Marlon Blanquicet, explained the whole basis of the card game. They talked about the individual cards and how they were used in a battle, how they got into playing the card game, and said why they love going to the shop, because they like hanging out with a lot friends who go to the shop.