Hex & Company is a board game cafe, an experiential retail haven for those who enjoy board, card, and tabletop games. For a $10 seating fee, you have access to our library of hundreds of games, from Settlers of Catan to Cards Against Humanity. It's also a place where you can eat, drink, and buy your favorite board games.
Hex & Company is currently located on the Upper West Side, but we've set our sights on new territory. We're launching this Kickstarter so you can help us build a brand new store and community on the Upper East Side, at 1462 First Avenue.
Family-Friendly. Our space is a place for everyone! In addition to keeping a large number of family-oriented games in our library, we'll also offer family and kid-only programs. We're bringing The Brooklyn Strategist’s wildly successful after school enrichment and summer camp programs to our store, too. The program teaches children to think critically and be confident in their decision-making using a wide range of board games!
Events and Programs. We'll build on the existing New York Magic: The Gathering and Tabletop RPG communities by giving the Upper East Side a chance to join in on the fun. We’ll run Magic events weekly and offer new tabletop players the chance to learn how to play games like Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder from our experienced game masters.
A Great Place to Play. Everything about the new store, from the lighting and the furniture arrangement, will be designed to maximize your play experience. We're working with a sculptor and set designer to make this space the most engaging and fun it can be.
Great Food. Alright, this one isn’t about building a community so much, but we’re REALLY excited about our food menu. We’re adding fresh ingredients, house-smoked meats, and grilled pizzas.
Great Drink. Our coffee is from Brooklyn Roasting Company, and our tea is from Harney & Sons. Beer and cider enthusiasts have always found a home at our current location, with over 30 options to choose from. We'll be taking all of that with us to the East Side, except we're adding a cocktail menu and milkshakes.
Three words: Mini Donut Machine.
Starting a business is a lot of work. It's a lot of paperwork: licenses and fees and consultations and permits. Our Upper East Side location is happening no matter what, but after focusing our funds and efforts on all of the above, we need some help to make the space the best it can be. That means filling out our game library, improving upon our space, and adding all the really cool things we've always wanted to add. Yes, that (hopefully) means a Mini Donut Machine.
Hex & Co Sticker - We'll send you a sticker with the official Hex & Company logo, compatible with all your favorite surfaces. We'll ship it to anywhere in the U.S., or you can come pick it up in-store.
Hex & Co Mug - Get a specialized Hex & Company mug that's perfect for enjoying liquids of all kinds: hot, cold, and even lukewarm. We'll ship anywhere in the U.S., or you can pick it up in-store.
Buy Us A Board Game - Is there a game you'd like to see in our store? Tell us about it, and we'll do our best to add it to the collection. Write us a recommendation, and we'll immortalize that and your name inside the box forever.
Backer Party Invite - We'll send you an invitation to our exclusive Backer Party, which will take place in our brand new space. Buffet provided with entry. Since there's limited space at our venue, this reward is limited!
Backer Bundle - Get all of our merch AND a ticket to the Backer Party! Since there's limited space at our venue, this reward is limited!
Hex & Co House Call - Can't make it to New York City, but interested in improving your D&D game? Have a group, but no game master? Get some one-on-one time with a Hex staff member over the Internet! One of our professional game masters will teleconference into your living room for a four-hour session. They can either run a game for you and your friends, or you can use the time to get coaching on how to better run the game yourself (or both)! Our game masters run more than just D&D—Kids On Bikes, Vampire, Blades in the Dark—and can pass any of that knowledge on to you.
Kickstarter Membership - Your seating fee will be free for the first 3 months after we open! You'll also get an invite to our party and all of our merchandise.
Enrichment Sampler - Perfect for anyone interested in our Enrichment Programs for children grades K-6. You'll get to send your child to two days of one of our summer camps, or a full week (5 days) of our after school enrichment program.
Class Trip - Send your child and their entire class to Hex & Co for a few hours of board games, snacks, and fun! This reward is redeemable anytime in the first year that we're open. You can schedule your trip during school hours, for up to 40 kids, up to four hours!
Name a Table - Name one of the tables at our new location, and it will be immortalized forever with a plaque. You can name it after yourself, your favorite board game, or that meme that will only be relevant for two more months. (We reserve the right to ask you to try again if your name is inappropriate for the store.) You'll also get the Kickstarter Membership.
Private Party for 5 - Experience what Hex & Company is all about! While you're here, a game guru or game master will spend time introducing you to new board games or tabletop RPGs respectively. It comes with a sampler of our food & (non-alcoholic) drink menu. Our member of staff will be available for a maximum of 4 hours with you.
Store for a Night - We'll shut down the whole store on a night of your choosing*. We'll work with you to create a menu, find the drinks you like, and deliver a personalized Hex experience just for you! A great option for birthday parties, work outings, or just a gathering of you and your 60 closest friends.
*The store will accommodate this reward any Sunday through Thursday, from 8PM to closing, anytime within the first 6 months of the store opening.
10,000 - We're fully funded! This money covers rounding out our board game library, new aesthetic and artistic additions to the space, and all the other finishing touches.
For every $1,000 above our initial goal of $10,000, we will use $100 to back board game Kickstarter projects and bring more independently-developed games into our store.
12,000 - We'll buy that mini donut machine we've been talking about.
15,000 - We'll invest in new microphones and cameras to increase the production value of the Hex & Co. House Call service.
20,000 - Free stuff! Everyone who donated $10+ gets a free Hex & Co. pin. Everyone who donated $100+ gets a free Hex & Co. hat.
25,000 - We'll hire a Game Guru for the first year of the new store. The Game Guru is an expert in board gaming who can make sure you get the most out of your Hex experience by recommending and teaching you new games.
The Hex & Company team is comprised of:
Greg May founded The Uncommons- the first board game cafe in Manhattan- after noticing that tabletop gaming lacked a community home. Originally from small town Iowa, Greg has worked in everything from food journalism to photography to the Silicon Valley startup scene, while living around the world, from Beijing to Honolulu. Board games, coffee, and beer were always passions, and when the former Village Chess Shop space became available, he decided to combine them. The Uncommons has become a neighborhood fixture, and has been featured everywhere from the New York Times to The New Yorker.
Mark Miller is nothing if not persistent. Riding the occasional good idea, he has produced new methods for curing and hot smoking salmon, 4 internationally acclaimed CDs of American Roots Music, and over 100 16 and 32 bit video game soundtracks. He has a degree in Comparative Religions and Ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University and an eMBA from Northeastern University. He is greatly looking forward to smoking delicious things for patrons at Hex & Company.
Dr. Jon Freeman is the founder of The Brooklyn Strategist. Dr. Jon brings to Hex & Company his proud blend of clinical neuroscience nerdiness and his love and passion of board games (more nerdiness). His acclaimed after school and camp enrichment programs that promote neurodevelopment and social responsibility through game play is a cornerstone feature of Hex & Company’s milieu. For Jon, Hex & Company represents the ultimate community space – a safe environment where people can be themselves, meet new friends and engage wits in a healthy and spirited fashion.
Will Horowitz is a consultant on the new Hex & Company menu. He is the chef & co-owner of restaurants Ducks Eatery and Harry & Ida’s meat and supply co. both located in the East Village of NYC. He is the author of “Salt Smoke Time” with Harper-Collins and co-founder of seaweed company Akua.
By supporting this Kickstarter, you'll be sending a very clear message about what kinds of spaces you want to see in your neighborhood.
We're honored you want to help us build this space, and we can't wait to get it up on its feet.
Every donation counts! If you can't donate, talking up this Kickstarter with your friends and on social media will help get the word out.
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Risks and challenges
We've already signed a lease on the space, so we'll see you on the Upper East Side no matter what. We've already purchased much of the equipment, started assembling our staff and game collection, identified and hired contractors, and created our initial food/drink menus. We're planning on opening the store in late Summer, but coordinating approvals and agencies and contracting may change that timeline somewhat. There is also a very small chance we won't be able to get the liquor license for the new location (but beer and wine should be good to go). Lastly, delivering the physical merchandise requires going to outside vendors, and the exact timeline on that may be difficult to control. The Uncommons previously ran a successful Kickstarter campaign, fulfilling all rewards, and has backed 122 other projects as of this launch. (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/uncommonsnyc/the-uncommons-board-game-cafe)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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