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Subject: Card Kingdom in Seattle, WA (Formerly Berserk games) rss

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Michael Edwards
United States
Everett
Washington
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One aspect of living in the Seattle area that is pleasant is, that there is a good selection of game stores to choose from. They vary in style and type, but I can think of at least ten stores I could visit, stocking Euro's in the greater Seattle/Bellevue/Everett area. I regularly rotate browsing at about five of these.

In particular, I enjoyed driving home via Greenwood and hitting two of them, Gary's Games and Berserk Games/Card Kingdom, as they were fairly close together, and on the same major street. Berserk appeared to do a lot of Magic the Gathering type business (under the Card Kingdom moniker), and apparently a lot of it on-line - I'd wonder at the exodus of employees from the back rooms as I browsed there at the end of the work day. I'd occasionally see folks playing MtG there, but that was about it for in store play. They packed plenty of board games into a somewhat crowded space.

However, Berserk is no more, their old space is empty. They are not gone, however - they've just moved and fully adopted the Card Kingdom name. They moved to Ballard (5105 Leary Ave NW), in what apparently used to be a Marine mechanical shop - a gigantic piston is still out front, as a sculpture, and they are next door to an engine shop.



I visited their new location last night, and all I can say is - wow. The new space is spacious, with plenty of room to browse freely. The main area is filled with board games both on display tables and shelving. Separate rooms (clearly identified with large hanging signs) exist for Puzzles, RPG's, Miniatures (mostly Warhammer), and Collectible Card Games. The miniature area had several purpose built tables for gaming. The CCG area has several public gaming tables as well. Adjacent to it is a large tournament room, featuring many tables. It can be (and perhaps normally is?) closed off to allow it to be reserved for this purpose. The board game area has only two small tables, which seems a little odd, except…



Adjacent to the store - and openly connected to it - is their other new venture, Cafe Mox. This is a medium sized cafe serving espresso, snacks, full meals, and - god help me - beer. They have a bar, with four micro-brews on tap (and more in bottles). The cafe has about 4 or 5 booths, a few tables, and one nook seating area, with a few little games scattered about. It bills itself as a gaming cafe, and as testament to this, two fellows had a board game set up in one of the booths. They had beers in hand, and had been supplied with a carafe of water as well. This, my friends, is a dangerously tempting precedent!

I cannot speak to the food at the cafe, but I did enjoy a brew while staring at the two flat screens (one showing The Two Towers, the other tuned to the SyFy channel). After finishing, I wandered back into the game store and browsed some more. I have visions of gathering some friends for a nice beer and board game here, and possibly making alcohol-fueled purchasing decisions that I'll regret in the morning.

The place has some nice detailing and custom decoration, too. You can take a peek at some pictures on their yelp page, and in a Ballard website news posting on their opening.

I know a gaming friendly tavern (AFK Tavern) has opened in Everett, which I have yet to visit. I like where this trend is going!
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JJ Belyeu
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Holy cow! I used to go to Berserk all the time, so much so, the girl at the counter got to know me by name. This was when I still played Magic though, and since I have stopped, my ventures to Greenwood have become few and far between.

BUT WOW, WHAT A DIFFERENCE!!! This new location looks awesome. AND BEER!!! Lovely, lovely beer! I might have to make that drive sometime soon to check it out and see if they still remember me.

Oh, and AFK is great! Can get kinda loud on the weekends if you are trying to play a serious boardgame, but they have good food, and fantastic beer/drink selection.
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Bharath Allam
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Sammamish
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I dropped by today and indeed what a great place.
 
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David Anderson
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I stopped by yesterday. This place is truly great. Their prices are good too.

 
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Groovy...I'm gonna have to check it out...not into beer, but a good mocha and a sandwich will suit me just fine!
 
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Michael Edwards
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To be honest, I think of their prices as OK - neither great nor bad - but perfectly acceptable for a brick and mortar store. But when I'm shopping local stores, honestly, as long as the prices aren't high I'm normally doing instant gratification purchasing anyway - that's worth the price difference over mail order for me.

I do need to arrange a game in the Cafe to see how it is for that.
 
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Don Ward
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Looks like heaven to me.
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Kristian
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I loved Berserk Games, and didn't realize that they moved to Ballard. I probably won't get there too often, but when I do, I'll make sure to have a full wallet, and enough time for a beer.
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David Anderson
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They have a good children's section too. Last weekend I bought Animal Upon Animal there. My two year old daughter loves it.

I'm going back for some more Haba games this weekend.

 
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James 3
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i used to live in Greenwood in Seattle and only WISH that we had stores even somewhat resembling this in Atlanta GA. Reminds me of playing Magic in pubs while living in London. I hope this place does very well and others are inspired to make such a clean and crossover appealing location to game.

it is a dry barren wasteland of gaming centers for people living in the city of Atlanta here. There are ZERO stores to play at inside the highway perimter of the city! zero. there are a few game stores 30-45 minutes outside the city proper in the 'burbs. Most cater to Magic heavily rather than boardgames, and all are more typical gamer haunts for the most part, not nearly as inviting to the uninitiated. Please Atlanta, take note, and open a place like this near the city core!
 
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Michael Edwards
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Yeah, never having lived anywhere else, I can only assume how lucky I am to live in the greater Seattle area. I have seen game stores come and go over the years (American Eagles just lately exited, I recall Triple Alliance on the Eastside), but there's always been at least some in the area. Mind you, when I first discovered Euros, I had to mail order them from Games People Play in Cambridge, MA - but they showed up locally relatively soonish in the movement.

I do need to see if I can get some of my gaming buddies to meet up here from time to time, just to encourage it's continued existence.
 
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Nisha Holloway
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Mind = blown surprise

I really have to check this place out next time I'm on the west side of the state.
 
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Andrew Phillips
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flamejuggler wrote:
i used to live in Greenwood in Seattle and only WISH that we had stores even somewhat resembling this in Atlanta GA. Reminds me of playing Magic in pubs while living in London. I hope this place does very well and others are inspired to make such a clean and crossover appealing location to game.

it is a dry barren wasteland of gaming centers for people living in the city of Atlanta here. There are ZERO stores to play at inside the highway perimter of the city! zero. there are a few game stores 30-45 minutes outside the city proper in the 'burbs. Most cater to Magic heavily rather than boardgames, and all are more typical gamer haunts for the most part, not nearly as inviting to the uninitiated. Please Atlanta, take note, and open a place like this near the city core!

Have you stopped by The Tower Game Center in Lawrenceville?

The Tower Game Center
860 Duluth Hwy, Ste 210
Lawrenceville, GA 30043
www.thetowergamecenter.com
678-442-1787
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James 3
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TheTowerGameCenter wrote:
flamejuggler wrote:
i used to live in Greenwood in Seattle and only WISH that we had stores even somewhat resembling this in Atlanta GA. Reminds me of playing Magic in pubs while living in London. I hope this place does very well and others are inspired to make such a clean and crossover appealing location to game.

it is a dry barren wasteland of gaming centers for people living in the city of Atlanta here. There are ZERO stores to play at inside the highway perimter of the city! zero. there are a few game stores 30-45 minutes outside the city proper in the 'burbs. Most cater to Magic heavily rather than boardgames, and all are more typical gamer haunts for the most part, not nearly as inviting to the uninitiated. Please Atlanta, take note, and open a place like this near the city core!

Have you stopped by The Tower Game Center in Lawrenceville?

The Tower Game Center
860 Duluth Hwy, Ste 210
Lawrenceville, GA 30043
www.thetowergamecenter.com
678-442-1787

yep, I have, and your selection is good and I like the checkout system (I played 7 wonders my first time with a regular patron this way). but you guys are basically on the outskirts of Athens, not Atlanta! if you were close by, thatd be great, but for folks who live in the actual city (i live in L5P), your shop is WAY WAY WAY too far to drive to with any regularity. I have to make a special day trip to do so (and have to pick up Ascension promos in the past), but could never spin by after work for a quick game etc. To me, its a rare destination not a "local" game store. Lawrenceville is no-mans-land as far as I'm concerned, sorry. Cafe Mox's location in Seattle is in a part of town that has fun stuff to do and where actual urban folk live, big difference.

ATL really needs a gameshop in the urban perimeter where folks can pop in and play. All we have are irregular meetups at delis and such. boo.
 
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Bob Vosper
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FYI, I was Card Kingdom today and there's a sign advertising their Black Friday deals: 20% off all board games, and happy hour prices all day!

Wheee!
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John Fowler
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We just went to Cafe Mox / Card Kingdom , visiting family in Seattle. Was totally fun, a great place to visit and play games. Had fun with our kids (5, 7 & 12 years old). Food was quite good, and the service was helpful.

Recommended!
 
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