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Kingmakers Board Game Parlour Opening in The Short North

Walker Evans Walker Evans Kingmakers Board Game Parlour Opening in The Short North
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Have you settled Catan? Have you traveled to Puerto Rico? Or are you more of a Monopoly master? Regardless of your familiarity (or lack thereof) with the world of board gaming, Kingmakers wants to welcome you to a brand new Short North hangout where fun can be had for players of all skill levels.

Located in the basement at 17 Buttles Avenue, Kingmakers Board Game Parlour offers a haven for gamers to gather for beer, brezels and a couple of rounds with any of the 200+ games from the collection off the shelves.

“We want to encourage gamers and non gamers alike to come and play a game together,” says General Manager Rebekah Sherman. “Whether you’re an expert gamer, a novice gamer, or just looking for a way to kill some time while waiting on a dinner reservation, our Board Game Sommeliers are trained to recommend and teach games based on your situation, party size, time available, and whether you’re in the mood for hardcore strategy, a party game, or something in between.”

A $5 ‘library fee’ allows guests to play as much as they want for the day. Kingmakers will feature eight beers on tap, four wines on tap, a selection of specialty soda pops, coffees and teas. The model for the business and inspiration for the concept comes from similar board game lounges that have been successful in other cities.

“I visited Snakes & Lattes in Toronto in the spring of 2012 — they have some 2,500 different titles in their library,” explains Kingmakers Founder Malika de Silva. “I’ve worked in restaurants, coffee shops and bars for many years and the concept of a board game cafe struck me as a unique driver — a way to create a social experience in addition to having a beer or latte.”

de Silva is a self-described newbie to the world of board gaming, which is why she brought in Sherman to help manage the business.

“Around 2008, a friend told me I absolutely had to play this game called Catan,” says Sherman. “He brought it over, we played it, and I was intrigued. The fun I had from playing it encouraged me to visit the local game group in Dayton that met weekly. There I played a game called Puerto Rico, after which I was hooked.”

Sherman began attending gaming conventions including GenCon, Archon, and Origins where she was able to start building a personal collection of games.

“I’ve been amazed at how far the gaming industry had come since I was younger,” she adds. “These games made me feel like I was part of something new and creative. I felt I was being challenged and educated at the same time as I was having fun and meeting new people.”

Kingmakers will host a opening preview this weekend — January 4th and 5th — which includes game demos and tours of the new space prior to their official opening for regular hours on Tuesday January 7th.

“We’re so excited to join the Short North neighborhood. It’s an honor to be a part of the tradition of arts, culture, fashion, food, and small business that has been so critical to making Columbus a great place,” says de Silva. “Kingmakers has been about a year and half in the making and it’s taken the efforts of people across many fields to bring this together and we couldn’t be more grateful.”

While the business is fully funded and ready to open, de Silva launched a Kickstarter campaign to help raise a few last-minute dollars that will increase the board game library after opening. The campaign has already successfully hit its goal, and still has 11 more days to go for anyone interested in helping to fund the new venture.

For more information, visit www.kingmakerscolumbus.com.

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  • catnfiddle

    I heard about this place from one of the Board Game Sommeliers. Sounds like a place that might be perfect for restarting CU Game Night, if so inclined.

  • Eugene_C

    What are the demo hours this weekend? I looked at their website and there wasn’t an obvious ‘schedule’ link anywhere.

    Sounds like a nice bar for geeks with boardgaming in the basement. I can’t drink alcohol and play most strategy games but I could see my self getting a tea or coffee while playing a game.

  • MichaelC

    Very excited to try this out many times over. Congratulations, Malika!

  • Hi everyone! Walker & CU – thanks for the great write-up! We appreciate it :)

    Our hours of operation, for this weekend and always, are:

    Sat: 1PM to Midnight
    Sun: 1PM to 10PM
    Mon: Closed
    Tues: 5PM-10PM
    Wed: 5PM-10PM
    Thurs: 5PM-10PM
    Fri: 5PM-Midnight

    Our Facebook page is the best place for updates for now: https://www.facebook.com/kingmakerscbus

    Thanks for the interest & support – look forward to seeing you all soon!

  • SteveKZ087

    Aaaaah! I love this concept! Consider me a future patron :)

  • gramarye

    I will absolutely, positively be hitting this place on one of my return trips to Columbus. I seriously hope this takes off. It’s a risk, though of course serving drinks will allow a little more monetization of the space than a typical board game parlor. Most board game joints are in much lower-rent districts … urban strip malls that have often seen better days, and so on.

    I wonder if they still intend to charge the library fee to people who don’t need to use the store’s collection because they have their own. :-)

  • FunkyBlue

    I think they’ll do fine. Columbus has a LOT of support for the board game industry and community. CABS is a huge group that I’m sure a good number of their members will be there, the proximity of Origins, and being semi-close to the college area helps. It’s a good choice of location all around. Just by looking at the picture, it looks like they have a really decent starting collection. This kind of business wouldn’t survive in Dayton or probably even Cincy. Columbus is just a great natural fit for it.

  • Ned23

    The game selection looks pretty good. I plan to check this place out. Catan and Puerto Rico are classics. Do they have Suburbia? That’s my current favorite game. You build suburbs with fast food and parking lots. It’s kind of satirical in a way.

  • Circle8ght

    What a fun idea and interesting addition to an already interesting neighborhood! …I just wonder about profitability and customer turnover for some of the games that take longer to play.

  • Games that take longer to play = more beer, wine, soda and brezel sales, no?

  • Eugene_C

    Hardcore gamers are notoriously cheap. They tend to show up with a 2-liter bottle of mountain dew and a box of poptarts and sit there all day. I hope that doesn’t become a problem. I plan to make sure I buy stuff when I go there.

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