I got the chance to head down to Labyrinth DC today. It’s a new game store in the DC area, friendly to RPGs but not stocking deep or wide on them just yet (we’ll have to show interest and follow-through with purchases to improve that!), and I wanted a chance to talk with the store owner, Kat. Turns out she’s great, very positive and very motivated to come to know her community and how best to serve them. So definitely take the time to talk to her if you drop by and let her know what would bring you back to the store and spending money there. It’s located in the Capitol Hill area, just one block’s walk from the East Market metro stop, so the rent is high — this store will definitely need some focused community support in order to take off. More on that in a bit.
The store has a few key things going for it which may set it apart from other stores:
- It’s a super attractive, very open-feeling space despite having a long narrow floorplan with a slight bend in the middle (see the photos below).
- The front window lets in a lot of light to the front part of the store — and the back of the store ALSO has a big window that lets in daylight to the back half. As a result it’s one of the few game stores that’s managed to pull off the abundant natural light feel, which I think is a huge win for atmosphere. (Endgame in Oakland, CA is the big example of this in my mind.)
- It has a very family-friendly vibe going. The owner actively encourages folks to bring their kids and let them run around and explore the store.
- Location: while the parking isn’t great, the fact that this is a very metro-accessible game store smack in the middle of the DC area means that we may now have a convenient, central location to have the occasional mini-con. The store could seat 4 tables of 6 easily as is, with the option to shuffle some shelving around and get another couple tables if need be. Plus, there’s good (if Capitol Hill priced) variety in the nearby walkable food options.
I’m interested in seeing if we can get a few events happening at the store. Taking a cue from the Endgame/Go Play SF Bay “A Taste Of…” events, Tom Cadorette and I may be looking soon into organizing a few “A Taste Of… [fill in an RPG here]” events in the coming months. On the short-list of early candidates, I think, would be Gamma World, Leverage, and Fiasco. In the somewhat longer-term view, we might look at doing a multi-slot all-day thing ala “FateCon” or “HatCon” or what have you, but for right now looking at doing a single-slot, 2pm-6pm thing on a weekend “taste of” events to get our feet under us is likely the right call.
Anyway, enough of my rambling — I’m still processing my visit to the shop and thinking about possibilities — and on to a view of some of the pics I shot while there.