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Subject: Best Chicago Game Store rss

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Neal Rosen
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Wimauma
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I will be in Chicago in about a week and will have limited time to visit a game store. I also will have to depend on public transportation. Given that, could anyone confirm to me my impression that the best stocked game store for European games and wargames in the Chicago area that would be relatively easily accessible to me, would be Games Plus in Mount Prospect or would you please suggest an alternative?

I am looking for a store with as large an inventory as possible.
 
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David Matchen
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Greetings, Neal! Welcome to my ex-hometown. Things are a bit weird right now, so this post will be updated as I find scattered references around the Geek.

Games Plus: Games Plus is, by any reasonable measure, the best stocked game store...well, ever. It is also surprisingly accessible, given the fact that it's in Mount Prospect, which is ~20 miles outside of Chicago. The UP-Northwest Service to Harvard (leaves from Ogilvie Transportation Center, on the 500 block of West Madison) takes roughly an hour to get to Mount Prospect from downtown. The store, however, is approximately one block from the train station, NW along the south side of the tracks. Trains run reasonably frequently.

Within the City of Chicago, used to be, the only two choices were Gamers Paradise, and an outfit called Go! Games. The latter's only location was in Navy Pier, and they may have closed. Their stock was pretty sparse, but some Euros were available.

News I've received from Chicago is that Gamers Paradise was or is in the middle of wrapping up its affairs and clearing out inventory. There are/were two locations in the City--one at Water Tower Place, and one in Century Plaza (Diversey & Clark). Haven't heard about their status since a few weeks back, but their website is presently down for maintenance.

There will be a new store called Cat & Mouse Game Store on the 2200 block of West Armitage (in Bucktown), but I think you're going to miss the grand opening. According to their website, they won't be opening until the first few weeks in September.

There is another new store by the name of Black Sun Games on the 5400 block of N. Kedzie which is due to open on August 22. You can find their grand opening announcement here.

If you expand to the burbs, there's a bunch more options, but I'll leave that to those more familiar with those areas.
 
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Christopher Cobb
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Wow, I live in Chicago so David, your post was very informative for me! I had no idea two stores were opening! Thats fantastic news because, as you pointed out, the game stores in the city are in a sad state.

Just for the record, the Go Game store in Navy Pier is NOT closed down, but its also not at all worth the trip.

Agreement that Games Plus is the clear choice.... really its the only choice. I've been out there many times, but admittedly, I've never bought anything. All their stuff is at retail, so as much as I'd like to support them, I just can't bring myself to pay the prices. But its very good for browsing!
 
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The all-seeing, all-knowing, all-trollin' Mike Hutton
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I will be in Wrigleyville at the end of the month, anything close-by worth checking out?

thanks
 
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Todd Pytel
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The only real choice at the moment for boardgaming is Games Plus in Mount Prospect. Cat and Mouse looks promising, but it's not opening for a little while yet. Black Sun is supposed to be carrying some board games - Brandon mentioned in a GM to me that he's got Agricola for example. But the impression I've gotten from his notices here is that they're going to be more about minis and RPG's. Maybe worth checking out if you're nearby (it's not all that convenient to Wrigley) and it's open (supposed to open 8/22). But it sounds unlikely to be much of a comparison to Games Plus as far as board games go. However, that's hardly surprising, since Games Plus is far and away the best retail game store I've ever seen. But we'll see... I'll certainly check out Black Sun once they're open, as they're within walking distance of me.
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David Matchen
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mhutton wrote:
I will be in Wrigleyville at the end of the month, anything close-by worth checking out?

thanks

Unfortunately, no. However, Chicago's transportation system is the best in the country, and Mt. Prospect really doesn't work out to that far away. Take the Irving Park bus out to the Metra station (just past the Kennedy--roughly 4200 W. Irving Park) and take the train northwest. It's about 30-40 minutes from that point.

No, really--it's worth the trip.

I figured I'd edit this to work out getting to 5400 N. Kedzie (Black Sun). If memory serves, you've got three train options, only two of which are practical from Wrigley:

Red Line: Pick the Red Line up at Addison, take it to Berwyn, walk down to Foster (1 blk. south if memory serves--it's 5200N) and take a bus west.
Brown Line: Pick the Brown Line up at Belmont, take it to Kedzie, walk 3/4 mile north.

Otherwise, depending on the time of day, you've got two bus options, which is what the CTA suggests if you punch in both locations in its Trip Planner software:

1) Take the #152 (Addison) west to Kimball, transfer to the #82 (Kimball Homan) north to Balmoral, walk 0.2 miles E

2) Take the #22 (Clark) north to Foster, transfer to the #92 (Foster) west to Kedzie, walk 0.2 miles N.
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:C.h.r.i.s. M.c.G.o.w.a.n:
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Go to www.metrarail.com for a train schedule or call (any local area code 847/773/312/etc) 836-7000 for point to point directions from a human operator.

It is worth the trip to look around. If you can plan it around a Thursday night, then come out to the board game group meeting in the store. First game usually kicks off between 6 and 6:30PM and we play until 11PM.
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michael kamin
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Gamer's Paradise only has their Woodfield store left and its pretty much picked over. All the others have closed from what I can tell.
 
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montag 66
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Sorry for the thread bump....

Just wanted to update this thread to report that I made a visit this weekend to Cat and Mouse on Armitage. The store is awesome! They have a huge selection of all the popular Eurogames (and the not so popular) and a great selection of "smart" kids games. They also have almost any game available as an open box demo so you can touch and feel it. The female owner I met with was very knowledgeable and helpful. She took the time to open up any games I was interested in and showed me the game pieces and explained the basic mechanics. It's very clean and a more friendly and less intimidating environment compare to Games Plus (which I also think is a great store).

The store is also very kid friendly. I had been planning a trip to this store for a few weeks and had a long list of games, heavily researched her on BGG, that I wanted to check out. As I was getting ready to leave Saturday morning, my wife decided she wanted to join me and bring our two kids, ages 4 and 6. :p I was sure the kids would get bored quickly and cut my trip short. But I couldn't have been more wrong. Even after and hour, they didn't want to leave. They've got a bunch of games and puzzles our on display and the owner very patiently showed my kids how each game/puzzle worked.

I spent about $200 and received a coupon for $25 off my next purchase. I could have saved between $5-$10 on each game I bought if I purchased online. But I was more than happy to support a local game store. We all know how rare they are!

If you are in the area, I highly recommend a visit to Cat and Mouse!
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Dana Winchell
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montag66 wrote:
Sorry for the thread bump....

Just wanted to update this thread to report that I made a visit this weekend to Cat and Mouse on Armitage. The store is awesome! They have a huge selection of all the popular Eurogames (and the not so popular) and a great selection of "smart" kids games. They also have almost any game available as an open box demo so you can touch and feel it. The female owner I met with was very knowledgeable and helpful. She took the time to open up any games I was interested in and showed me the game pieces and explained the basic mechanics. It's very clean and a more friendly and less intimidating environment compare to Games Plus (which I also think is a great store).

The store is also very kid friendly. I had been planning a trip to this store for a few weeks and had a long list of games, heavily researched her on BGG, that I wanted to check out. As I was getting ready to leave Saturday morning, my wife decided she wanted to join me and bring our two kids, ages 4 and 6. I was sure the kids would get bored quickly and cut my trip short. But I couldn't have been more wrong. Even after and hour, they didn't want to leave. They've got a bunch of games and puzzles our on display and the owner very patiently showed my kids how each game/puzzle worked.

I spent about $200 and received a coupon for $25 off my next purchase. I could have saved between $5-$10 on each game I bought if I purchased online. But I was more than happy to support a local game store. We all know how rare they are!

If you are in the area, I highly recommend a visit to Cat and Mouse!

if you haven't been to Chicagoland Games yet, check it out, well worth it.
http://www.chicagolandgames.com/
 
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David Matchen
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Chicagoland Games appears to be very convenient to the Bryn Mawr stop on the Red Line (it's one block west, at Broadway), and appears to be run by the guy who ran the Century Plaza Gamers Paradise. Tonight is Board Game night; starts at 6.
 
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