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Friday, May 22, 2015

Enchanted Grounds

I was on business travel again this week, so I did a little research beforehand and found that there is a boardgame cafe in Denver called Enchanted Grounds.  Moreover, on Monday night they were hosting Star Wars X-wing, so I made a point of heading over there after work.

A fairly lively clientele filled about a dozen tables, and an energetic atmosphere filled the coffee shop, almost like a gaming convention.  Several tables hosted role-playing games, one had two players setting up The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, and a number of tables toward the back had a Magic: The Gathering tournament in progress.  The table that caught my attention held a Star Wars X-wing battle in progress with three X-wing fighters against a VT-49 Decimator and a TIE Interceptor.  I had a nice chat with the guys playing the game, who were very friendly but clearly experienced players. 

I looked around the store, and was immediately struck by the well-organized presentation of every game in the inventory.  Games were grouped thematically, or by genre, or by franchise - in all cases clearly assembled in a way to appeal to people who like games of a certain type by associating similar games together.  Displays were neat, full, and well-lit.  I was really impressed; this was by far the most appealing, attractive game store I have ever visited in my life.

The Wizard's Tower expansion to Castle Panic very nearly came home with me, but the thought of squeezing a game into my luggage for the flight back made me put it back on the shelf.

I would be remiss to neglect mentioning the tremendous variety of coffees and teas that are available; the establishment is a coffee house, after all.  But I must admit that I was preoccupied with the boardgame side of the business, so I didn't even stop for a cup of decaf.

The young man and woman behind the counter happily answered my questions about their boardgame cafe.  They've been in business for about eight years and have plans to expand to a second store in Littleton.  They are extraordinarily friendly and really made me feel welcome. 

Although I didn't end up playing anything during my visit, I found the atmosphere entirely welcoming and a lot of fun.  I look forward to visiting Enchanted Grounds the next time I'm in town, and I would encourage any gamer to make a point of stopping by if they should happen to find themselves in the Denver area.

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