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Chicagoland, IL, USA» Forums » General

Subject: Area stores rss

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Vernon Harmon
United States
Fairport
New York
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Ray created this guild in part to allow people to "find a place to buy games at a local store" so I figured I'd try to get the ball rolling...

Since it's right down the street from me, I'm aware of Games Plus(http://www.games-plus.com/) in Mount Prospect.

Huge selection of wargaming and miniatures, if that's your thing, and a nice selection of euros, ccgs, etc. including OOP stuff.

As a FLGS, everything is priced pretty much MSRP, which is pricey if you're used to buying online.

They have a large gaming area with tables and there have been people there painting miniatures pretty much every time I've been in the store. I've never tried to play in the store so I don't know how easy or friendly it is.

They have a frequent buyer program where (someone correct me if I'm wrong) you get a punch for every $10 you spend and ten(?) punches gets you some kind of discount. Obviously, I don't use the program, so I'm unsure of the specifics.
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Tom Sievers
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Wauconda
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I'll add my vote for Games Plus. It's a VERY well-stocked store, with helpful, friendly staff. I've shopped there for years. If you use it right, the "frequent buyer" card system ends up giving a close to 10% discount, which helps. I buy online sometimes, especially through pre-ordering, but try to give most of my post-publication business to FLGSs, with Games Plus getting most of my $$. Another good store (a local chain, I guess, tho I'm only familiar with one store) is "Gamer's Paradise", Hawthorn Mall, Vernon Hills, IL. They stock an assortment of games, from chess to poker to designer games, as well as puzzles, some CCGs, and I think WarHammer too. They have some great sales, and staff is friendly, so they get the rest of my FLGS dollars.
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Mark Wilder
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Evanston
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Games Plus is the only store in the area that's worth the trouble of visiting, IMHO.
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Vernon Harmon
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tsievers wrote:
Another good store (a local chain, I guess, tho I'm only familiar with one store) is "Gamer's Paradise", Hawthorn Mall, Vernon Hills, IL. They stock an assortment of games, from chess to poker to designer games, as well as puzzles, some CCGs, and I think WarHammer too. They have some great sales, and staff is friendly, so they get the rest of my FLGS dollars.

We picked up Blue Moon City, Ticket to Ride: USA 1910, Thurn and Taxis, and Catan: 5-6 Player Extension last month during their buy one, get one half off sale. We got to the counter and I had my wife buy the two cheap games and I bought the two expensive ones separately so we could maximize our discounts, and the clerk said he would've been happy to just put it all on one order and give us the "proper" discounts. Considering most mall employees don't really give two shakes, I thought that was pretty cool, and would probably go back to buy from them again, although they do have a limited selection.
 
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Nate Johnson
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Vernon Hills
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I have had good luck there, but when my wife went there with my son to buy me a chess set for father's day, the clerk was playing death metal and mostly ignoring them, so experiences vary. But I encourage olks to buy games there if for no other reason than because your sales tax funds my town.

And Vernicus, you should come to the game day (mostly) every second Sunday at the Vernon Area Library in Lincolnshire, on Old Half Day road.

Tom runs every other session, but as an employee is restricted in what whe can do to promote it. I have no official status so I can evangalize to my heart's content.
 
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Ray
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Carpentersville
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Since someone mentioned Gamers Paradise (Chicagoland's casual gaming store chain -- more in common with Toys R Us than a hobby store.) I thought I'd add the info from their website:

http://www.gamesparadiseinc.com/locations.html

or

Store Locations

Stratford Square Mall
814 Stratford Square H14
Bloomingdale, Illinois 60108
630-980-4412

Hawthorne Center
718 Hawthorne Center
Vernon Hills, Illinois 60061
847-680-8615

Gurnee Mills Mall
6170 W. Grand Ave. #485
Gurnee, Illinois 60031
847-855-8916

Water Tower Place
835 N. Michigan Ave. Space #5070
Chicago, Illinois 60611
312-587-0077

Yorktown Center
114 Yorktown Shopping Center
Lombard, Illinois 60148
630-916-0995

Century Mall
2828 N. Clark Street
Chicago, Illinois 60657
773-549-1833

Harlem-Irving Plaza
4136A N. Harlem Ave.
Norridge, Illinois 60706
708-456-1422

Chicago Ridge Mall
510 Chicago Ridge Mall
Chicago Ridge, Illinois 60415
708-499-1121

Woodfield Mall
5 Woodfield Mall Space E302
Schaumburg, Illinois 60173
847-605-1103

Corporate Office

Gamers Paradise, Inc.
1580 S. Milwaukee Ave. Suite 409
Libertyville, Illinois 60048

Update. As Alan said below in 2008 Gamers Paradise closed. One location at least (the Woodfield Mall one) lives on as the store mananger bought the inventory and opened his own store in Woodfield Mall.
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Ray
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Carpentersville
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Also another national chain with a little presence in the area is "Go! the Game Store":

11/10/08 UPDATE: Wow, they have a lot more stores now:

http://www.calendarclub.com/locations/default.asp?from=SP

Alton Square IL
200 Alton Square
Alton, IL 62002
618-462-8001

Cherryvale Mall
7200 Harrison
Rockford, IL 61112
815-332-3105

Chicago Ridge Mall IL
444 Chicago Ridge Mall
Chicago Ridge, IL 60415

Eastland Mall IL
1615 E. Empire Street
Bloomington, IL 61000

Fox Valley Mall
195 Fox Valley Center
Aurora, IL 60504

Hawthorn Center IL
122 Hawthorn Center
Vernon Hills, IL 60061

Hickory Point Mall
1146 Hickory Point Mall
Forsyth, IL 62535
217-816-6961

Market Place Shopping Center IL
N. Neil St. & I-74
Champaign, IL 61820

Navy Pier
700 East Grand
Chicago, IL 60611
312-464-0554

North Bridge Mall
520 N. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
312-329-6538

Northwoods Mall IL
4501 War Memorial Dr.
Peoria, IL 61613

Old Orchard Shopping Center IL
34 Old Orchard Cntr
Skokie, IL 60077

Quincy Mall IL
3347 Quincy Mall
Quincy, IL 62301
217-221-4699

Scott Airforce Base
AAFES Services and Vending
Scott AFB, IL 62225

Shoppes at Grand Prairie IL
5201 West War Memorial Dr.
Peoria, IL 61615
309-691-3488

Southpark Mall IL
4500 16th St.
Moline, IL 61265

Spring Hill Mall
1072 Spring Hill Mall
West Dundee, IL 60118

St. Clair Square
134 St. Clair Square
Fairview Heights, IL 62208

Yorktown Shopping Center IL
203 Yorktown Center
Lombard, IL 60148
630-932-5198



Like Gamers Paradise, there selection is "OK" to "minimal".
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Ray
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Another excellent store that IMHO is worth the trip is Game Escape in Crystal Lake. http://www.thegameescape.com

While it doesn't have the history books, wargames, and depth of old games that Games Plus has it does have a top class selection of Euros (dedicating a few isles and a full wall from floor to ceiling to having a copy of just about everything in print). Always worth the trip especially on a Wednesday "open gaming" night (where Scott has a large collection of games available for free playing)

They also have a strong stock of certain miniature systems and leagues, but as I don't play them I can't go into much detail.

UPDATE: STORE HAS CLOSED!

Quote:
The Game Escape is Closing
While we have tried to find a buyer for the store, nothing has come up and we are now forced to close The Game Escape. The store will be open this Friday Night, 8/22 from 6:00-10:00 and Sunday 8/24 for the Star Wars release tourney at 1:00pm. After that we will be ceasing day to day activities and there are no plans for further events.

I want to thank all of you who have become a family to the store, and myself. It has been a pleasure to get to know all of you over the past 8 months. Thank you kindly for your support and encouragement and we hope to continue to see you as we move forward.
 
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Benjamin Birch
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As far as gamers paradise goes the selection varies from one store to the next. I've visited 3 of their stores and find the one at Woodfield Mall to have the most varied selection despite having the smallest floor space. I've also visited the ones at Chicago Ridge Mall and at Yorktown and they are comparable but do not have the variety that woodfield has.
 
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Mendon Dornbrook
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Regarding GamesPlus, I stopped in a few weeks ago. My eyes practically fell out of my head when I saw the prices but the store is very well stocked. They have pretty much whatever I thought I wanted, except maybe HotS. The large gaming area in the back of the store was open to us, though we might have gotten in free because the owner didn't recognize us. But there were a number of people back there playing. It looked like there was a group playing 40K and a Roleplaying group. We pulled out the stores Demo copy of TOI and messed around with it for about an hour and a half. We ran into a fellow BGGer and pretty much just chilled. The environment was definitely friendly and we were invited back to play L5R at a later point. My biggest qualms with the store are the prices and the distance from Evanston.
 
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:C.h.r.i.s. M.c.G.o.w.a.n:
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I'm a Games Plus guy myself. It's 1 mile from my house - can't beat it. www.games-plus.com

As with anything in life - there are positives (open board game Thursday's and 1st Saturday of the months, group of gamers to play with, the twice a year auctions, wide selection of board games, the buyer reward program - one punch for every $10 spent, etc.) and negatives (full MSRP, close at 11PM, ???).

I support them as much as possible with my game purchases since I do utilize the space for game playing.

I really like the auctions (Spring and Fall). For buyers it is a way to view a lot of games (mostly opened and lightly used) and make a purchase. You also get to hang out with your game playing buddies. For sellers it is a great way to earn store credit. They charge $0 to enter an item in the auction and collect $0 in premium, so if your copy of Nexus Ops sells for $22, you get $22 store credit in the form of a certificate that must be used within 6 months.

A great alternative for that game (new or old) you've played a few times and don't see yourself playing again - sell it with no shipping/paypal/Ebay charges. Look in your closet - are there games you're never going to play that will end up in a landfill in a few years when you're gone? Why not sell them and buy a new game you've been itching to get? Next auction scheduled for Weds 10/3 through Sunday 10/7.
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Tom Volpe
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I don't really have a problem with the prices at Games Plus. I game there every Thursday night and get a chance to play games I've never played before. I also get to hang with great people who love games (can't put a price on that). I support the store as much as I can afford. Also, the frequent buyer discount (ask to start a new card when you buy there) gives close to 10% back every $100 you spend so the prices are not as bad as they seem at first.
 
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Benjamin Birch
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Just went to the game store on navy pier. Had a selection similar to the gamers paradise stores i've been to at Chicago Ridge and Yorktown with the gamers paradise stores having more variety of the same game (multiple different backgammon and chess) as well as rpg stuff and lots of puzzles. The gamers paradise at woodfield still has a much greater selection in terms of quantity of individual games and variety of games available. I've not yet been to games plus so i can't draw any comparisons. hopefully the info is useful.

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Mendon Dornbrook
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If you are on the further North Side and get dragged out to the Gurnee Mills Mall, there are two stores of interest to tabletop gamers.

-Games Workshop (if you're into warmhammer, etc.)
-Gamer's Paradise

Gamer's Paradise selection was about half monopoly 1/6 not relevant, and 1/3 popular AT and Euros like Descent, War&Starcraft, Puerto Rico, Settlers, Blokus, etc...

Game's Workshop was entirely minis focused. No Bloodbowl.
 
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Ray
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I didn't know there were any Games Workshop Centers still open (all the ones far NW by me closed). Per their website their are 8 in Illinois yet:

http://maps.games-workshop.com/shopping/hobbycenters/list.ht...

ILLINOIS

Chicago Battle Bunker
Downers Grove, Illinois
630-426-0120

Games Workshop - Fox Valley
Aurora, Illinois
630-585-9913

Games Workshop - Geneva Commons
Geneva, Illinois
630-232-2929

Games Workshop - Gurnee Mills
Gurnee, Illinois
847-856-0885

Games Workshop - Red Top Plaza
Libertyville, Illinois
847-573-1547

Games Workshop - Oak Park
Oak Park, Illinois
708-660-0095

Games Workshop - Orland Square
Orland Park, Illinois
708-226-9563

Games Workshop - Shorewood Commons
Shorewood, Illinois
815-609-1603
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Jerry Hagen
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Madison
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Thanks for the detailed thread -- my parents live in Grayslake and I was looking for a store to send them to. I was about to post a random message in the forums when I happened upon the Chicagoland guild.
 
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Nate Johnson
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Barnes and Noble has a selection of games as well, including Carcassonne, Pillars of the Earth and Apples to Apples, among many others. There is a new one that just opened in Lincolnshire, but I encourage people to go to the one in Hawthorne Mall in Vernon Hills, just up the road, because then the sales tax supports my town.
 
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Alan Reeve
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I was at Stratford Square mall yesterday and it looks like Gamer's Paradise is gone from there. They still list the location on their website, but the space they used to be in is dark. I even checked the website which give something like H114 as their address and went to section H of the mall... in summary, I couldn't find them. The mall directory still said section M which is where they "used" to be and I'd guess that would be updated right away if they simply moved to another spot in the mall.

I'm hesitant to say I'm 100% sure they're gone because at Yorktown mall they did move to the other side of the mall.

It surprises me to see them close their Fox Valley, Charlestown (well that doesn't surprise me given the transition states that mall is in), and now Stratford Square locations... but yet I read board game sales and such as up? Granted it could be the company... the other stuff they carry... mall locations too expensive for niche stores... ???
 
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Nate Johnson
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The Gamer's Paradise at "hawthore shopping towne" in vernon hills is in the process of closing. No significant games appeared to be on sale, and most interesting things are out of the store already.

I would like to be sad about that, because it was a game store close to my house and the sales tax helped fund village projects, but I am really only sad that the mall management is seemingly doing a bad job managing tenants. The GP itself was already in the process of turning into a lame version of Spencers (yes, lamer than the actual Spencers), and had all the games of any interest shoehorned into a corner in the back with teh role-playing games. There was more space devoted to Webkins I think, and they were much more visible. The staff was generally disinterested in being interupted by customers as the listened to their death metal, and didn't know anything about the games anyway, so fara s I could tell aside form one temp a couple of years ago around Christmas. Last Father's Day, my wife and son bought me a chess set there and, based on the way she was treated, decided not to return.

I suspect the chain is still trying to work through its big jump on the poker bandwagon. And honestly, have you ever seen anyone buy one of those slot machines?

Anyway, is is gone soon, but there is no apparent profit in searching for game deals.

As an aside, the store in Woodfield seems to be run much much better.
 
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Mendon Dornbrook
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Gamer's Asylum opened recently in Evanston on Dempster just west of Chicago Ave. I want to give them the benefit of the doubt because they're new but I didn't have a good first experience in the store. Primarily, they carry Warhammer 40K, some RPGs and M:tG. I'm not sure I saw anything else.

When I stopped in to introduce myself, the store owner was neither particularly receptive to the idea of hosting a board game night even once every two weeks nor exploring the option of selling tabletop boardgames or exploring BGG as having potential consumers in it. Not that this hostility will characterize my entire approach to the store, but I won't be stopping in there to spend any of my money for several months. We'll see if they've learned a little in a few months. I hope that they can be successful simply being a game's workshop retailer, but I worry that they will be a short lived establishment.
 
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Mendon Dornbrook
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Black Sun Games is a new store in northern Chicago on Kedzie just north of Foster. They opened today. It looks like it's run by three guys who are gamers, first, owners second. Right now their carrying some of the more popular board games (PR, TS, CC:A, settlers, Tide of Iron, etc), RPGs and tabletop minis like Citadel, Warhammer, etc (I didn't look too closely at their stuff).
They have a decent play space with a bathroom and water fountain (and probably vending machines soon).

The guys are friendly and open to hosting gaming activities at the store. Their biggest drawback is space, which limits their selection.

Edit: A few months later, I went back. They have a very good board game selection. Bravo guys.
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Mark Wilder
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Cat and Mouse Games opens Sept. 6, 2008, in Bucktown (2212 W. Armitage). They've said that their focus will be board games and war games, with little-to-no miniature action. Sounds like just my kind of store!

Announcement thread here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/330509
 
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Ray
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Per this thread here:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/352303

Lexx wrote:
Game has come to the Northside. Chicagoland Games will be opening our new storefront at 1207 West Bryn Mawr Ave. Chicago, IL 60660 on Thursday, 11/06/08. We are a brand new game retailer with a dedicated playspace. We will be featuring strategy games, family games, role-playing games and collectibles in a major way. We may be a new store however, some of you may remember our staff from the late Gamers Paradise at the Century Mall.
Our staff is dedicated to building a game playing community not simply a retail space. Come by and check us out.

-Lexx
Chicagoland Gamers check this out, A new site and forum we created to promote unity and advertise events in the Chicago area gaming community.:
http://chicagolandgames.com

207 West Bryn Mawr Ave. Chicago, IL 60660
773-RAT-DOJO, 773-728-3656
 
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Ray
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Another new boardgame store! Per this thread:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/590549/fair-game-new-loc...

Fair Game has opened in Downers Grove

http://www.fairgamestore.com

5150 Main St.
Downers Grove, IL 60515
(630) 963-0640

Hours:
M-F: 11-7
Sa: 10-7
Su: 12-7


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Da van
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Here's a thread with more info that pertains to the suburbs:

http://boardgamegeek.com/article/14544245#14544245
 
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