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Located in Athens, GA, we will be one of the first board game cafes in the Southeast US
Located in Athens, GA, we will be one of the first board game cafes in the Southeast US
120 backers pledged $6,902 to help bring this project to life.

About

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The Rook & Pawn Board Game Cafe

$6,902

120

The inside of our space...before
The inside of our space...before

Welcome to The Rook & Pawn Kickstarter page!  We hope you are as excited about the cafe as we are.  

What is The Rook and Pawn?

The Rook and Pawn is an experience completely unique in Athens and would be one of the first board game cafes in Georgia. The Rook and Pawn will feature a collection of almost 500 table top and card games along with some of the best food and drink Athens has to offer. The concept is modeled after Snakes & Lattes in Toronto, The Uncommons in New York City, GameHaus in Los Angeles and other successful operations around the world.

Customers who wish to play games will pay a small $5 daily fee to access the entire library and can stay and play as long as they like while enjoying a full menu of food, beer, wine, spirits and coffee. Kids 12 & under can play games anytime for free.

For those that can't get enough, monthly, annual and even lifetime memberships will be available that will allow you to waive the daily fee. But you don't have to play to enjoy The Rook and Pawn, patrons who choose not to access the game library can come in anytime to eat, drink and enjoy our unique atmosphere without paying the fee.

Why a board game cafe?

The idea for The Rook & Pawn started in the summer of 2014. We had heard of the success of board game cafes in Europe and of a few popping up here in North America. Carrie and I love games and love Athens and felt the concept was perfect fit here.

We have loved playing games since we were kids and had amassed quite a library of games in our personal collection. We have also enjoyed meeting new friends through board game nights at each other's houses. The Rook and Pawn will be a place where any age, any skill level, will be able to find a game they love. Combining the perfect game with the perfect location in downtown Athens will make for a perfect afternoon or evening for families, students, everyone!

Rook and Pawn: Variant Logo #1 (Carrie drew this)
Rook and Pawn: Variant Logo #1 (Carrie drew this)

What's on the menu?

Our menu will feature simple, yet well made options that pair great with games and feature some familiar local favorites. Appetizer plates, panini-style grilled sandwiches, salads, smoothies and desserts will make the perfect compliment to the coolest Game Night in town. Planned local offerings include hummus and tabouleh from the Sultan, Phickles Pickles, bread from Independent Baking Co. and sweets and savory muffins made special for The Rook and Pawn by Dondero's .

We've partnered with Jittery Joe's to create a signature house blend for pour over coffees and espresso and will offer a wide range of excellent teas. Our manager has worked in coffee for years and is eager to make The Rook and Pawn a destination for connoisseurs by offering unique coffee drinks and styles not easily found in Athens. The drink menu will also include a wide selection of craft beer, a carefully selected and seasonally rotating wine list, and spirits that will feature in our game-themed speciality cocktails.

Where are you located? 

We found an amazing and unique location at 294 W Washington Street, behind Philanthropy (formerly Sunshine Bikes), next door to Ted's Most Best and across the street from the world famous 40 Watt. 

The Entrance!
The Entrance!

When will you open?

Buildout of the space is in full swing. The cafe interior will have an "old London" theme. The front entrance area will feature the bar and game library. The back of the cafe and main seating area will call to mind an old London alleyway. Think Harry Potter's Diagon Alley. The paint is drying and the supplies and equipment are being ordered. We should be open by early June. 

What games will you have?

The Rook and Pawn will feature Candyland, Caverna and everything in between. We are updating our website (and boardgamegeek.com library) daily, so check to see if your favorite is on the list. We envision it as a place where you can discover a world of games you never knew existed, rediscover classics you cherish from your youth, or try out the latest and best the hobby has to offer. As The Rook and Pawn grows, we also intend to support local game designers through a series of workshops and demo nights that celebrates the innovation and creativity within table top and card gaming that's going on right now in the Classic City.

Games Games Games Games Games Games
Games Games Games Games Games Games

Why Kickstarter? What are you doing with the money?

The idea behind the Kickstarter campaign is to give people the opportunity to be involved from the very beginning. Those eager gamers who already know they will be loyal patrons will have a chance to get early bird annual or lifetime memberships and those that are interested in giving it a try can opt for a monthly pass.

Your contribution will go directly to help us add new games including rare and out of print treasures to the game library. 

Contributions will also be used to help fund some of our planned education initiatives. These include:

1) Table Top 101: a series of instructional workshops that will walk attendees through the world of games beyond the familiar classics

2) Game Design: from idea to publication - a step by step series on bringing your game design to market

3) Games and education: working with local schools and educators to show how games may be incorporated into lesson plans to help students with everything from math and problem solving to history and language skills.

The front of the cafe as of 4/29/15
The front of the cafe as of 4/29/15
The bench for sitting and playing and playing and playing
The bench for sitting and playing and playing and playing

STRETCH GOALS!
If your pledge tier states that you are eligible for stretch goals, well, here they are!  Stretch goals will only be shipped to the BISHOP tier level, all other levels will have on-site pick up at the cafe in Athens.  Estimated delivery of these stretch goals are August 2015.  Thanks!

$4000--Custom Rook & Pawn dice (x2)!

What the dice look like
What the dice look like

$5000--A premium custom meeple made for The Rook & Pawn by Meeple Source of an Athens, GA landmark: The Double Barreled Cannon!

The one on the left. 15mm high, 20mm wide.
The one on the left. 15mm high, 20mm wide.

$6000--Custom meeple from the great folks at Meeple Source of another Athens, GA landmark: The Tree That Owns Itself!

The one on the left.  Again. 24mm high, 20mm wide. Perfect as a starting player token or collectible
The one on the left. Again. 24mm high, 20mm wide. Perfect as a starting player token or collectible

Press coverage:

Flagpole: Grub Notes, March 5, 2015

Flagpole: In the Loop: Athens Power Rankings, March 9, 2015

Special Thanks:

Scott Hartman for an amazing video and amazing patience during filming of said video
Nick Mallis for the great music in the video

Risks and challenges

Risks: Well, of course there are risks with opening any business. We are putting our hopes into the idea that a lot of you love to play board games, want to learn how to play new ones, and eat and drink while you do!

Challenges: Keeping the games you want on the shelves, keeping the games in good working order.
Having superb food and drink for you to enjoy while having a small space for our kitchen.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Our sincere thanks and a permanent listing of your name on our website as a founding contributor!

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    PAWN--Early bird one month membership to The Rook & Pawn. Unlimited access to any game in our library for play in the cafe for one month! Once the store is open the one month memberships will be $25. PLUS STRETCH GOALS!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    BISHOP--A brand spankin' new Rook & Pawn t-shirt! Heck, we will even ship it to you! PLUS get a listing of your name on our website as a founding contributor! PLUS STRETCH GOALS!

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    Pledge US$ 35 or more About US$ 35

    KNIGHT--Early bird one month membership to The Rook & Pawn PLUS Rook & Pawn t-shirt. See Reward #2 for what a membership means! PLUS STRETCH GOALS!

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    Pledge US$ 40 or more About US$ 40

    SPECIAL--Sponsor a game! We will permanently place a small placard with your name (or dedication) inside the game of your choice. It's like when you buy a brick at a building, but better! Backers in this category will be contacted to obtain their choice of game.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    ROOK--Early bird one month membership PLUS Rook & Pawn t-shirt PLUS an invite to our Kickstarter backers only pre-open! We will open the cafe to Kickstarter backers only for one day before our official Grand Opening. PLUS STRETCH GOALS!

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    Pledge US$ 85 or more About US$ 85

    QUEEN LITE--Early bird ANNUAL membership to The Rook & Pawn. Unlimited access to any game in our library for play in the cafe for one year! Once the store is open the one year memberships will be $99. PLUS STRETCH GOALS!

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $95 or more About $95

    QUEEN--Early Bird ANNUAL membership PLUS a super awesome soccer style scarf with our name, logo, and "Gaming Club" on it. Once we open, annual memberships will be $99, and scarves will be $20. PLUS you will also be invited to the pre-open backers only day.
    PLUS STRETCH GOALS!

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 95 or more About US$ 95

    QUEEN--Early Bird annual membership PLUS the t-shirt. Once we open, annual memberships will be $99, and t-shirts will be $20. You will also be invited to the pre-open backers only day. PLUS STRETCH GOALS!

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 600 or more About US$ 600

    KING--Early Bird LIFELONG (of the cafe) membership PLUS a personalized handcrafted mug (made in Athens) that we can keep at the cafe for you. Your mug will be awaiting you each time you arrive to The R & P, ready to hold your drink of choice. PLUS you will get R & P soccer-style scarf PLUS the t-shirt, PLUS you will be invited to the backer only pre-open day. Once we open the lifelong memberships will be $750. PLUS STRETCH GOALS!

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Funding period

- (23 days)