Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Games Stores Are Marching Closer and Closer to Me

It's been about a year since I started this blog, and since then 3 game stores have opened up in my area, each one closer to me in proximity than the one before.
The most recent addition is Chicagoland Games, which sits a mere 6 blocks from my apartment on the north side of Chicago. That's walking distance, folks—I'm almost giddy with excitement at the idea of strolling to my FLGS each week. I braved the rain last weekend and checked it out.

Inside I found Alex and J.P., two amiable shop dudes who spoke hopefully about the shop's future. The storefront was smallish, but Alex told me he plans to expand into the adjacent (vacant) storefront next month, which will triple the available space and provide room for
more game tables.

There was a ton of merchandise in Chicagoland Games despite its small retail area. Most of the goods were board games, but I saw a nice shelf of RPGs and some miniature stuff toward the rear. The store also has a shelf full of opened board games that anyone can come in and play around with; this is a great idea, and one that I'll be taking advantage of very soon.

Perhaps best of all, Chicagoland Games is affiliated with the Chicago Multi-Genre Game Meetup group, which means it can draw upon an existing base of players (and customers!).

I'm pretty excited to have a game store in my backyard. Doubtless I'll find an excuse to be there often, and I'll report back as they move forward with their expansion plans.


Michael S/Chgowiz said...

Awesome! If you don't mind making an introduction (even electronic), I'd be happy to plug them on my Chicago D&D Examiner page. I might have to swing out that way, especially if they're open to an original edition demo...

David said...

Walking to the game shop!?! Amazing concept. But I fear what it would do to my wallet.

Also, I'm glad to hear that new stores are opening. I hope they do well. ICv2 recently reported that board game sales through the hobby channel were up 20% in 2008.

Patrick W. Rollens said...

@Chgowiz: Sure, I'd be glad to put you in touch with Alex and J.P. I also think it would be great if you wanted to run an Oe demo once they expand into their new digs. I'll play!

@David Miller: It's amazing, really. I posted a pretty dire review of Gamer Asylum, a few miles up the street from me, when it opened last year. I predicted they'd be closing in 8 months...and it looks like they're expanding, rather than closing!