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Author Topic: Board game businesses  (Read 192 times)

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Kuildeous

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Board game businesses
« on: October 06, 2017, 09:19:30 am »
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Well, this is an exciting week for me. My local gaming spot, Pawn & Pint, has opened in its new location. It really amazes me that board game bars/cafes/etc. are a viable business design. It's a pretty good future right now.

It about a year ago that this place opened its doors in a less-than-ideal location. It wasn't a bar or restaurant to begin with, so there was a lot of remodeling going on. The inside was bare brick, which was charming, but that and the concrete floors did make noise a real concern. The part of town was not bad, but parking was a bitch. Some people had to park as far as two or three blocks away to go. The shelves basically plywood on concrete blocks, and you could see the plywood bowing under the weight of the games. The bar wasn't open yet nor even built. It had only one toilet for several months before adding a second toilet.

But despite all these flaws, the business was able to stay afloat with its $5 admission, membership fees, and game sales. It also had a good chunk of money from the Kickstarter, but the owners envisioned a better future. Last night was the grand opening in a new location that they've been working on. Wow, what a difference. It didn't have the bare-bones look of the old location. The parking lot holds 140+ cars. The shelves look classy. The bar is fully stocked. It was weird walking in last night because I didn't recognize over half the employees. I was always used to the old location with the same four employees cycling through the welcome counter.

I was always glad to have backed this enterprise, but seeing the final product a year later made me really proud of my decision. I like board games, and I like to see them flourish. I know that mixing beer with board games can be a risky combination, so we shall see. Similar businesses have been doing pretty well lately, so this bodes well.

It was still noisy even with the carpeting. I'm hoping when they hang artwork that will help absorb some noise. I imagine that this will be my go-to place during nonbusy times. When they get really busy, I may step out for a bit. Bonus: It's only 6 blocks from my home.
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popsofctown

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Re: Board game businesses
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2017, 09:47:08 am »
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That sounds great.  We host LCG events at a bar/activity center a lot.
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Kuildeous

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Re: Board game businesses
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2017, 10:09:20 am »
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Yeah, I love the notion that I don't need to buy so many board games because I can always go here to get my fix. I'll go to Pawn & Pint for Terraforming Mars, Clank!, and Escape from 100KK BC. I like these games, but I have limited shelf space at home, so playing with someone else's copy is beneficial to me.

The downside is that not all games have expansions (though this may be an upside depending on who you are and what game there is). Dominion, for example, only goes up to Alchemy. Some kingdoms are sleeved and some are not. And I've caught some kingdoms with fewer than the expected cards (or more if the randomizer got mixed in). There is a definite downside to having the hoi polloi put the games away. They have experienced staff members, but they aren't always the people putting games away.

There's a group that rotates among the bars in downtown. They bring exposure to board games. Always a nice thing. Sometimes the bar doesn't have the best lighting, but I think the group quickly works to mitigate that.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Board game businesses
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2017, 02:15:01 pm »
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A guy I know that runs a Raleigh-area board game con has been working for a while to get one of these set up here; we don't have any.
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