Previously on The Kingdom is Coming: The internet Magic store Card Kingdom is moving their physical location from on side of Seattle to the other. They wanted me to talk about their new place, which I described as four separate parts. The first part was the main store area, the mini’s room, the RPG room and a CCG room. The second and third parts are a tournament center and private game rooms you can rent out.
This is part three of a four part series.
Editor’s note: I would like to remind you that these pictures are of the construction currently underway. The estimated opening date is Early May.
There are rumors of a place in Japan that sounds perfect for a geek like me. If I ever get to the Land of the Rising Sun, this is the one place that I would have to drag my wife to because I would want to go. Apparently, there’s a bar in Japan that’s friendly to Magic gamers. They have drafts (both the beer and of the Magic variety), and cutesy named drinks after spells and famous Japanese Magic players. Players can some in, drink, sling cards and have a grand old time. The bar is not filled with a sports theme nor is it a nightclub, but a bar for gamers. It’s unique because it’s the only place in the world where I know that’s set up this way.
A new challenger has appeared.
The new Card Kingdom has pretty much everything a gamer has come to expect in a game store; quite possibility even surpassing it. From separate game rooms for CCGs, and RPGers, and Minis, to a large tournament room and private rooms you can rent out, it’s a gamers paradise. There are even other smaller areas I haven’t talked about including a puzzle room and a children’s game area. This is more than just a gaming store; it’s going to become a community center.
However, I’ve been holding in a secret; bursting at the seams wanting to tell someone, anyone about. This one area I’ve been told I can’t reveal.
I have the pleasure of introducing you to The Mox.
Yes, it’s a cafe inside a game store. One that serves food. And coffee. And alcohol.
No more trying to find a place to eat before or after FNM. You want to drink and draft? Do it. This is a bar built by gamers, for gamers (well, actual construction workers built it, but you get what I’m saying). What me to prove it? Fine.
The name of the restaurant is officially called Café Mox. The moniker of The Mox makes it sounds way awesome as in, “I’m heading down to The Mox for a drink and a game of Planechase.” In the café, there are five booths, one for each color of mana; each of the booths contains headboards that match their colors: White, Blue, Black, Red and Green (That was my idea; what can I say, I’m MTG Color Pie).
But what if you want to want to sit at the bar and play a game with the bar-mate next to you? At a normal bar you’d have to risk the chance of your cards getting wet and covered in peanut dust. At Café Mox? What about small tables that rest in-between the stools that you can raise up and play cards on? How does that work for you?
The flat screen TVs won’t be playing sports, ESPN or anything like that. There’s been talk of playing classic Sci-Fi movies, and other geek-oriented programming; if there’s a reason to bring back broadcasting Magic tournaments to TV, this would be it.
The goal of Café Mox is to be an actual café. While it’s geared for gamers, everyone is welcome. In fact, that was a big reason for the café. There was a discussion raised about the food and drink being served, if it should be named like so many other themed places. “Yeah, I’ll have the Caw Blade Fries and the Gold Treasure Burger.” Maybe that’s just me, but it seems really silly when you order it like that. It doesn’t alienate the non-gamers who do decide to eat and drink there.
The menu is still up in the air as of this printing. It’s not just going to be gamer food either; it’s going to be real food. People should come to Café Mox not only because it’s convenient to players, but because the food is good as well. If you want to stop in for a sandwich and buy the newest Dominion expansion, you can because you want to not just because it’s there. And yes, those of you still under 21 you can still enter the café and order food and drink, but obviously you can’t partake in the alcohol consumption.
This is not a café to come in and bring your laptop and play WOW. You’re not there to bury your face in a laptop; you’re there to interact with other gamers as well. This isn’t Starbucks where everyone’s just running off the Wi-Fi because they don’t want to pay for it. With rising tables between stools and booths with your own personal lighting, this is a get from behind your computer screens and game with real people café.
When I was first told of the plans for the new Card Kingdom, I couldn’t believe it. These guys wanted to take gaming to the next level. They aren’t satisfied with just opening up just another game store. What they’re doing here is more than anyone has even envisioned before. You don’t spend four months destroying and rebuilding your new card store. That doesn’t happen in the real world (I know this because commercial real estate is my job). We all wish that our local game store would open up and become an Eden of riches for all of our gaming wants and needs. Card Kingdom is doing just that. They now have space to conduct a Magic tournament, to host tables for minis, a RPG campaign being as loud as they want, serve lunch to some patrons and still have the main floor area for shopping.
At the same time.
Name one other gaming center than can do all of this at once.
If you want to try out a new game, most likely they’ll have a demo copy out and would love to show you how to play it. Want to order Magic singles? They’ll have the computers hooked up to their inventory and bring them to you right before FNM. Want classes on learning to paint minis? They’ve got you covered. How about a quick game of mini-masters while you’re drinking freshly tapped beer? Yeah, that too.
This place, it’s going to be a Mecca. Card Kingdom is going to become a destination where players are going to come and visit when they travel to Seattle. Just like how I want to go to that Magic bar in Japan, I imagine players from out of town will desire to come to the new Card Kingdom. “Take a look around,” an employee will say. They’ll walk around and be amazed and what a card store could be, and see that transition into a gaming center.
And maybe, if just by chance, you’ll see me in Café Mox drinking a beer and playing Commander with a group of friends. We’ll be laughing and enjoying ourselves and I’ll look up and smile and wave you over.
Welcome to Café Mox.
Welcome to the new Card Kingdom.