I used to choose local pubs/bars on the basis of wether or not they had dart boards and/or backgammon tables ( I am dating myself here I know but there was a time when it was not uncommon to find backgammon tables in the bars around town). So my buds and i could sit and enjoy a few games and a pitcher or two. We even took along Cosmic Wimpout or Pigmania to one pub in particular. I miss those kinds of places.
Carlton "Kermit" Noles
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On 8/6/07, David Artman <david@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> From: "Kimberly Terrill" <kiter5@xxxxxxxxx>
> I think a 'gaming-cafe' would be a good solution- Games we can buy cheap on
> the internet- so the FLGS will be a thing of the past soon, I guess. But we
Funny you should post that about a minute before I suggested much the
same as a value-add to the actual store. Your idea extends that to
dropping the games but keeping the play space, basically changing the
whole business model rather than augmenting it.
But they games needn't be dropped as potential revenue channel. I had
the idea years ago for a "Gamer Bar" that worked very similarly to a
1) Pro Shop: Your basic store, but without the extra value-adds: just
shelves, product, and register. Everything in stock is on shelves (i.e.
it's also your warehousing space). Its hours would be typical for a
normal store in the area.
2) Bar: The playing space moves out to a full-service alcohol bar and
coffee shop. You could even still offer playing aides like miniatures
terrain or demo games (checked out by handing over a credit card as
security, if you like). Its hours would reflect your actual service
traffic for the area, be that opening for breakfast or not opening until
just before dinner hour.
3) Restaurant: Not only does this bring in additional (even non-gamer!)
revenue, but it's actually required in my area to serve alcohol without
being a private club. Further, all those McDonalds wrappers won't fill
up your bins; folks would be ordering burgers and fries from you! It
also provides an area for younger customers who couldn't go into the bar
without their parents (but more on that below).
The key to the concept is being TOTALLY and OPENLY supportive of gaming
in your area. Some schmucks come in and start mocking "those geeks
playing in the corner": throw them out! Seriously (the gamers who see
you do this will be forever loyal!). The whole point is to provide a
place where gamers are welcome and encouraged; it's the non-gamers who
have to "prove themselves worthy" to remain (i.e. by being respectful of
the hobby and generally not being too distracting--drunken yee-hawing
gets the boot).
Another key is the fact that your hours can reflect the times people
shop (afternoon and early evening) versus the times they play (almost
any time, depending on day of week) versus things that interrupt those
two (eating and carousing). Therefore, your utility use and staffing can
respond to natural ebbs and flows of commerce for your area.
Finally, it offers a place for adult gamers to be comfortable, away from
kids if they so desire (*dons protective suit*). It's a sad fact that
90% of the gamers in my area WON'T play at the FLGS because of the kids;
they meet at each other's homes instead. Another BIG reason we don't
frequent the FLGS is that we like a bit of draft with our games, and the
FLGS has none and couldn't have it because it would discourage parents
from letting their kids stick around. But the two-part division of play
space above solves that problem nicely: the bar becomes a bit of a
retreat (or even somewhere for mom and dad to hang out while junior is
playing a tournie in the restaurant!) but the restaurant is still there
to give youngsters space too.
Man... I'm talking myself into doing it. Anyone got about $100k to
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