Jelani Patterson’s Business Expansion is a Puzzle: and That Was Exactly the Plan

Posted by Monica Hoel

Not all who wander are lost:
they might be exploring District 57.

Jelani Patterson and his wife Mylene had an escape room business in Charlotte, but they have recently upgraded their game, literally, to a 20,000 square foot venue called District 57. This exciting new themed challenge experience offers unique challenges in every room – some are physical challenges, some are more like puzzles. Room after room there are different games to tackle and you can take on the ones you like. You have an hour and half to do 30 rooms – and apparently some folks leave and come back later to re-try the ones they didn’t beat the first time around. Each of the rooms is connected to your smart watch so that you can follow your progress and get encouragement to finish the course.

All of this occurs in a setting that is designed to transport you to another world. Every element of the venue is rich with a dystopian theme that hinges on the story of a very bad day in 2095 when all the world’s power failed – and now your job is to survive. The theme is carried through to the nth degree by a dedicated crew of designers, creators, and graphic artists. Everything from bulletin boards to back hallways to bathrooms are drawn into the theme so that you never feel like you aren’t immersed in this created world.

The interior of District 57.The interior of District 57.And the story changes. If you come back another week the story may have progressed – and now there are new facts, new elements, new challenges, and new ways to “survive.” That newspaper box you saw last time will have a new newspaper in it, there will be new doorways for moving from one space to another, and you’ll notice new artistic elements that delight your imagination.

And did we mention there is a restaurant and a self-service bar?

The pandemic has slowed down the opening crowd a bit, but it surely hasn’t stopped them. The large building allows folks to easily spread out and socially distance, and they are seeing a lot of family units as visitors because it’s a creative and energetic activity to share in a safe space.

If you’re ready to test your skills, find them in Charlotte – but allow yourself enough time to wander a bit.

  • Jelani Patterson, Emory & Henry Class of 2003, and his wife Mylene. They created a new entertainment venue called District 57.

More News

  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/997-josh-von-castle-receives-peace-award"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/925,276,1944,1296/6935_Peace_Award_Photo_3.rev.1569538189.jpg" alt="Josh von Castle receives Peace Award at annual SEAHO conference." class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/925,276,1944,1296/6935_Peace_Award_Photo_3.rev.1569538189.jpg 2x" data-max-w="1019" data-max-h="1020"/></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/997-josh-von-castle-receives-peace-award">Josh Von Castle Receives Peace Award</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary">Josh was cited for his service and leadership. <a href="/live/news/997-josh-von-castle-receives-peace-award" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/1182-serving-america-in-a-time-of-need"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,263,342/7887_Bodenhorst_2.rev.1585598935.jpg" alt="Jeoff Bodenhorst, Sr., E&H Class of 1975" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="263" data-max-h="342"/></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/1182-serving-america-in-a-time-of-need">Serving America in a Time of Need</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary">Jeoff Bodenhorst, E&H Class of 1975, has turned his business into a factory that is making supplies for front-line health officials battling COVID-19. <a href="/live/news/1182-serving-america-in-a-time-of-need" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/715-micah-morris-chosen-by-national-leaders-council"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,250,250/6034_Micah_Morris.rev.1551713188.jpg" alt="Micah Morris, E&H Class of '09" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="250" data-max-h="250"/></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/715-micah-morris-chosen-by-national-leaders-council">Micah Morris Chosen by National Leaders Council for 2019 Fellowship</a></h4></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/1348-got-a-new-york-minute-find-out-what-matt-whitenack"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,635,635/8472_StatenIslandHeaadshot_3.rev.1598281525.jpg" alt="Matt Whitenack, E&H ’96, on the Staten Island Ferry." class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="635" data-max-h="635"/></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/1348-got-a-new-york-minute-find-out-what-matt-whitenack">Got a New York Minute? Find out what Matt Whitenack is doing in the Big Apple.</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary">Matt (E&H ’96) is a travel advisor in New York City…and he’s finding ways for us to travel virtually during the pandemic! <a href="/live/news/1348-got-a-new-york-minute-find-out-what-matt-whitenack" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/1125-jerry-york-works-for-zeiders"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2048,1536/6061_jerry_york.rev.1552495017.jpg" alt="Jerry York, Class of 1984, with his fiance while visiting Bavaria." class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2048,1536/6061_jerry_york.rev.1552495017.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2048,1536/6061_jerry_york.rev.1552495017.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2048" data-max-h="1536"/></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/1125-jerry-york-works-for-zeiders">Jerry York Works for Zeider’s</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary">Jerry offers financial advice to military personnel.  <a href="/live/news/1125-jerry-york-works-for-zeiders" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/782-mike-young-chosen-as-new-virginia-tech-basketball"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/290,0,1100,810/6262_Young_at_socon.rev.1554748993.jpg" alt="Mike Young (E&H '86) cutting down the net after his Wofford team won the 2019 SOCON cham..." class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/290,0,1100,810/6262_Young_at_socon.rev.1554748993.jpg 2x" data-max-w="810" data-max-h="810"/></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/782-mike-young-chosen-as-new-virginia-tech-basketball">Mike Young Chosen as New Virginia Tech Basketball Coach</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary">Mike Young is a 1986 Emory & Henry graduate. <a href="/live/news/782-mike-young-chosen-as-new-virginia-tech-basketball" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/1386-eamph-alumni-librarians-organize-reading-challenge"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/40,0,559,518/8585_books.rev.1601424919.png" alt="" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="519" data-max-h="518"/></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/1386-eamph-alumni-librarians-organize-reading-challenge">E&H Alumni Librarians Organize Reading Challenge for Stay Homecoming</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary">This Stay Homecoming event is a real page-turner. <a href="/live/news/1386-eamph-alumni-librarians-organize-reading-challenge" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"/><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/1137-obituaries-updated-february-2020">Obituaries Updated February 2020</a></h4></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/1215-small-town-values-at-a-big-company"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/143,58,1602,1513/8045_adam_walters.rev.1587134208.png" alt="Adam Walters, E&H Class of 2004, Swine Finishing Manager at Tosh Farms." class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/143,58,1602,1513/8045_adam_walters.rev.1587134208.png 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/143,58,1602,1513/8045_adam_walters.rev.1587134208.png 3x" data-max-w="1459" data-max-h="1455"/></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/1215-small-town-values-at-a-big-company">Small Town Values at a Big Company</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary">Adam Walters (E&H ’04) says his company, Tosh Pork, understands the importance of putting people first. <a href="/live/news/1215-small-town-values-at-a-big-company" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/623-not-a-typical-success-story"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/633,620,1708,1696/5787_IMG_6576_1.rev.1546551600.JPG" alt="Rachel Shenk and Patrick Holcomb at a wedding in Northern Virginia." class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/633,620,1708,1696/5787_IMG_6576_1.rev.1546551600.JPG 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/633,620,1708,1696/5787_IMG_6576_1.rev.1546551600.JPG 3x" data-max-w="1075" data-max-h="1076"/></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/623-not-a-typical-success-story">Not a Typical Success Story</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary">Rachel Shenk and Patrick Holcomb are on Colorado’s front line of a new industry: legal cannabis. <a href="/live/news/623-not-a-typical-success-story" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/1453-mass-comm-alumni-gathering-set-to-celebrate"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/353,0,764,411/8784_mass_comm.rev.1603387477.jpg" alt="Mass Comm Students in the campus television studio" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="411" data-max-h="411"/></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/1453-mass-comm-alumni-gathering-set-to-celebrate">Mass Comm Alumni Gathering Set to Celebrate Internship Innovation</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"><p> Internships always seemed like the best gateway to a good job for any Emory & Henry student. But when the pandemic hit, all the rules for existence were up in the air.</p><p> But <a href="/academics/mass-communications/"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">E&H mass communications major</span>s</a> are notoriously flexible.</p><a href="/live/news/1453-mass-comm-alumni-gathering-set-to-celebrate" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/1679-the-trap-of-nostalgia"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2094,2055/9554_The_Spine_Of_Night_Filmmaker_Morgan_Galen_King.rev.1615991868.jpg" alt="Morgan Galen King, E&H Class of 2001" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2094,2055/9554_The_Spine_Of_Night_Filmmaker_Morgan_Galen_King.rev.1615991868.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2094,2055/9554_The_Spine_Of_Night_Filmmaker_Morgan_Galen_King.rev.1615991868.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2094" data-max-h="2055"/></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/1679-the-trap-of-nostalgia">“The Trap of Nostalgia”</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary">Morgan King’s new full-length animated feature is a throw-back to a popular 1980’s classic, but he was careful not to be limited by the past as he created something he wanted to stand up in the present. <a href="/live/news/1679-the-trap-of-nostalgia" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/1184-real-virtual-support-during-an-unprecedented-time"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,230,291,522/7893_ana_owens.rev.1585765282.jpg" alt="Ana Owens, E&H Class of 2012 (left), with some college friends on the E&H campus." class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="291" data-max-h="292"/></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/1184-real-virtual-support-during-an-unprecedented-time">Real-Virtual Support During an Unprecedented Time</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary">E&H Alumna, Ana Owens devises a way to support of out-of-work restaurant workers. <a href="/live/news/1184-real-virtual-support-during-an-unprecedented-time" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/1487-patsi-trollinger-is-collecting-voices-beyond-the"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/1,0,252,251/8961_patsi_Tollinger.rev.1604948279.jpg" alt="Patsi Barnes Trollinger, E&H Class of 1972" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="251" data-max-h="251"/></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/1487-patsi-trollinger-is-collecting-voices-beyond-the">Patsi Trollinger is Collecting “Voices Beyond the Virus.”</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary">Patsi Barnes Trollinger (E&H ’72) has never been inhibited about asking questions, and right now she’s asking some really interesting questions. <a href="/live/news/1487-patsi-trollinger-is-collecting-voices-beyond-the" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/377-give-us-emory-henry-in-the-city"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,960,960/3728_EHCITY_SACREMENTO.rev.1522090608.jpg" alt="Senator Toni Atkins ('84) and Pam Kestner ('83) stole the show with their Patrick Henry Poses!" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,960,960/3728_EHCITY_SACREMENTO.rev.1522090608.jpg 2x" data-max-w="960" data-max-h="960"/></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/377-give-us-emory-henry-in-the-city">Give Us Emory & Henry In the City!</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary">“E&H in the City” has become part of the E&H lexicon! <a href="/live/news/377-give-us-emory-henry-in-the-city" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>