Board Game Republic


We can't say enough about how much we love board games! In fact, we think board games have the ability to make everyone better people - better at communicating, better at critical thinking, better at compassion, and they help people with their memory, their education, and even their social skills. The benefits are numerous. And if they make everyone better people, it stands to reason that it makes the world a better place. So we want to get people together in an inviting social environment, sitting down with games, and letting them have at it. It's one of the richest experiences you can get, and we are all about that! So when we say our motto is "Unplug. Sit down. Reconnect" we mean it!

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Board Game Republic Featured on Denver 9 News

Get Your Game on at Board Game Republic

August 26, 2016

Channel 9 News recently highlighted a tenant of The Yard on Santa Fe - Board Game Republic and interviewed the owner Keith Myers. Read the following excerpt from the article:
DENVER - Denver’s first board gaming pub and café is set to open this weekend. It's called Board Game Republic.
It's a pub that allows you to socialize with friends and family, sip on Colorado craft beer or a cocktail of your choosing and... get your monopoly on.
Board Game Republic is located at 900 West First Avenue.
The grand opening takes place this weekend. You can check it out for yourself Saturday starting at 10 a.m. to midnight and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
“Board game republic is Denver’s premier place to get your game on," owner and operator Keith Meyers said.
They have a full menu, full bar – and over 650 board games to choose from. With a large variety to choose from, there’s bound to be something in there for everyone.

Board game cafe rolling the dice on Santa Fe

George Demopoulos - November 16, 2015

View original article at BusinessDen

Brews and board games are coming to a Santa Fe Drive development.

Longtime board gamers Keith Meyers and Adam Alleman will open Board Game Republic, a table and card game bar, at the Yard on Santa Fe next year.

Meyers – who has spent decades selling and inventing games – said he took the idea from Toronto gaming cafe Snakes and Lattes.

“Snakes and Lattes was really the impetus for it; I thought what they were doing was really great,” he said. “I’ve been in this industry for 28 years and done all the aspects of it, and retail, although I love it, is hard to make work. It’s not an impulse buy.”

Board Game Republic will launch next spring, and Meyers said it will cost about $175,000 to get the business up and running. Meyers plans to charge $5 for unlimited play on about 600 board games. And he’ll have a sandwich menu, four beers on tap and a full bar. By the end of year one, Board Game Republic wants to have about 1,000 games on-site.

Meyers and Alleman leased 2,400 square feet at the Yard on Santa Fe, a former lumber yard turned retail center. The Yard’s other tenants include Rocky Mountain Flex Fitness, Renegade Brewing Co., Deviation Distillery and Fin-Art.

Meyers said rent on his space will run between $4,000 and $5,000 per month.

“Being at the very south end of the Art District and four blocks from the south end of SoBo seemed right,” Meyers said. “And it was something we could afford.”

Board Game Republic has been in the works for about a year in a half, Meyers said. He was working on a similar idea with two other partners, but one dropped out of the project. Meanwhile, Meyers said, Alleman was working on his own board game cafe with an entirely separate group.

The two met around Christmas 2014, Meyers said, and started putting together the Board Game Republic concept. Alleman, in addition to being a board game enthusiast, is a chef and will head up Board Game Republic’s kitchen.

At first Meyers estimates the company will make more money on food and drinks than gaming charges. He said the two pieces could even out later, especially if Board Game Republic is able to charge more for gaming on busy nights and weekends.

“If we do $5 a head and fill the place up with 100 people, that’s nothing to sneeze at,” Meyers said.

Board Game Republic isn’t the first Denver company to roll the dice on the business model. Enchanted Grounds has been running a similar business for about nine years in Highlands Ranch.

Meyers said he thinks nostalgic millennials are driving renewed interest in board games. He said the cafe concept is a good one because younger adults live in smaller apartments without room for board game get-togethers or closet space to store stacks of games.

But he’s also hoping to appeal to parents that want to get their kids off of phones, tablets, TVs and computers.

“You have parents who loved games who have kids that they want to grow up playing those games and get them away from video games,” Meyers said. “And it’s hard to go out and do anything with the kids without spending a fortune, so I think we’re a pretty economical alternative.”

Meyers has an eye for two or three more Board Game Republic locations in the Denver area and is scouting spaces in Stapleton and the Tech Center. He’s ready to launch new locations but will keep an eye on how the Santa Fe spot does first.

“We would be ready to go pretty soon, but the concept has to prove itself,” he said. “And we have to see how far people are traveling – if people are already coming in from Stapleton it might not make sense to open a second one there.”

Denver's Mixed-Use Drinking Destinations

Gigi Sukin - August 5, 2015

View original article on Confluence Denver
Bars change with the times, but they've often serve dual purposes for centuries. Hybrid watering holes Board Game Republic and Bowman's Vinyl & Lounge are set to join the ones who have streamlined the business model in Denver.
Two centuries ago, taverns were considered central meeting areas. In the 19th century, saloons became hubs for the working class. Today, while so many other social norms evolve from decade to decade, saloons, taverns, pubs and plain old bars remain nuclei of community interaction. 

The challenge is distinguishing one boozy venue from the next. With some creativity and business savvy, establishments for imbibing have gotten clever, adding ancillary activities to draw drinkers and doers alike.

"In Denver, there are so many options when going out for the evening, so patrons have come to expect just a bit more value from the venues they choose," says Keith Meyers, co-owner and president of Board Game Republic, an old-fashioned gaming café-pub set to open in early November.

More than three years ago, Meyers had the opportunity to visit Snakes & Lattes, the original board game café, to his knowledge, in Toronto, Canada.

"Their concept of a community gaming space with food and drinks really struck a chord with me -- it was different than a game store and different than a restaurant or tavern that had a few games to play," Meyers says. "Games bring people together and open channels of communication through laughter and fun." 

He researched the community-building concept and, "About a year later, put together enough ideas for my own spin . . . and started exploring how to make this happen in the Denver area."

The space will open with a starting game library of 600 titles and "Professors of Play" to help participating patrons handpick and learn the intricacies of the games. 

Board Game Republic will be located inside The Yard, a 2.5-acre former lumberyard that will also come online this year as a "craft-centered," mixed-use development at 924 W. First Ave. in the Art District on Santa Fe.

"The site itself features buildings clustered around a central area with decent parking. It simply captures the social and communal spirit we were looking for," Meyers says. "We offer a wise alternative to the usual pub atmosphere."

Imbibing, painting, crafting & browsing vinylPerhaps in one of the earliest iterations of the multimodal hangout was the popular drinking and painting model, introduced to Coloradans several years ago.

Perhaps in one of the earliest iterations of the multimodal hangout was the popular drinking and painting model, introduced to Coloradans several years ago.

"Sipping and painting seemed like an amazing combination of two fun, social and experimental things people love to do," says Tim Grade, who co-owns Sipping 'n Painting Highland. "People can get a glass of wine anywhere, but the activity connected to the glass of wine opens up new topics of conversation and creates new memories."

Also offering the drinking-and-crafting niche is Upstairs Circus in LoDo and Grandma's House Brewery, located on 1701 S. Broadway. At the latter, the concept is comfortable and nostalgic, geared largely toward local makers throughout Denver.

"With as many breweries as Denver has (and is still adding), our events are just another element to set us apart in a crowded field," says Matthew Fuerst, owner of Grandma's House, explaining that Denver's brewery tally has just about doubled in the last two years.

Just a few blocks north on Broadway, Darin Bowman is hard at work to open his new, self-titled record store meets music venue meets bar, by the end of August to attract a new crowd of genre-neutral music lovers and social butterflies out and about on Broadway.

"I've worked in bars forever and never heard of a concept like this," Bowman says. "I'm going to sell new and used vinyl, feature live music and serve drinks." 

He calls the process of renovating the former Tavern 13 location at 1312 South Broadway "aggravated happiness;" and while he says "no one really understands the concept" yet, he is confident Bowman's Vinyl & Lounge will be "a great fit," for the neighborhood. He explains that the process to open the doors required him to apply for multiple licenses, including a cabaret license and renovation. "It's kind of been like starting two businesses at once." 

A literary localeBookBar opened when Nicole Sullivan set out to to save a bookshop.

A model alternative to other typical taverns is found on Tennyson Street, in Denver's Berkeley neighborhood. BookBar opened when Nicole Sullivan set out to to save a struggling independent bookshop. 

"I remember thinking they should just add a wine bar to the store," Sullivan says, of the former bookstore that is now BookBar. " One of the big driving factors to a cultural district. I believe, is a good bookstore. The literary arts are just as important as galleries, and this was right around the time e-readers came onto the scene and indie bookstores have been closing left and right. So it really drove me to do something about it. I looked at the numbers and realized, if you add a wine bar to a bookstore, that might just be a way that booksellers can continue to draw in readers and sell books."

Sullivan, who received a degree from culinary school, decided adding hors d'oeuvres could benefit the business. She calls the BookBar's wine offerings "eclectic, covering various regions and areas of the world," and says that one of her bar managers recently completed sommelier training. 

As for the company BookBar keeps, "When we opened, my husband said, 'It's going to be all women.' But it's super diverse," Sullivan says. "With great Wi-Fi and coffee, I look around and I see young professional men working, people who would otherwise be working from home, but need to get out of their houses; in the evenings, we get tons of book clubs, and those tend to be middle-aged or younger women. We see a lot of older people, children and families." 

Comparable to Bowman's chief concern, according to Sullivan, the biggest challenge she has experienced is melding the two businesses together in a seamless fashion. "What we're doing is combining a retail business with a food and beverage business, which has not been done a whole lot before. You have to have a point-of-sale system that can handle both, bridge the accounting and taxes, there can be staffing issues," she says.

She explains that the wine bar sustains the bookstore side of her revenue model. All in all, the business seems to be booming, as Sullivan recently began working with national bookseller training programs, to help folks in her field better understand how to open a dual-purpose place.

"I think people are moving toward this hybrid model," Sullivan says. "I think there are tons of people who would like to socialize with wine or beer, who aren't necessarily 'bar people,' but they're also not looking for full meal service." 

It's difficult to disagree, as BookBar is in the process of expanding, more than doubling in size and building out an author's bed and breakfast. 

As retail transitions to a digital-first format and consumer preference, Sullivan suggests what is lost is slowing down and exchanging ideas in community spaces. "I think as society goes more online, there's a backlash, where people are seeking to congregate," she says.

"Our tag line is, 'Unplug. Sit down. Reconnect,'" echoes Meyers of Board Game Republic. "In today's digital world of snippets of conversations, we feel this is much needed. I personally would much rather see someone laugh out loud, than be texted LOL."