Over 600 games to play at the Silver Key Lounge in Mesa
MESA, AZ – It’s the middle of the week and there’s a group laughing and playing Uno, another group making miniatures and two more reviewing the rules of a game they are playing.
Behind them, a library of over 650 games, classics like “Battleship” and “Risk”, new classics like “Cards Against Humanity” and “Apples to Apples”, and current popular games, such as “Ticket to Ride. “
Business partners Adam Oligschlaeger and Gregg McCleary opened Silver Key Lounge in January 2021 in Mesa, tucked away at the back of a shopping complex near Dobson and Guadalupe roads.
“It’s like literally living the dream and it’s exciting. It’s a whole new realm and world. It’s cool to be a geek. It’s cool to have fun playing board games.” , said Oligschlaeger.
“That’s the beauty of board games, they bring together all ages, all groups,” McCleary said.
Over 5,000 square feet, they have the game library, half a dozen large tables for people to sit down and play adventure games, regular tables for traditional board games, a broadcast table live, a private game room, a small bar with soda, wine, and beer, and a retail area where people can buy games to take home.
They initially planned to open in 2020 but were delayed for a year to get more funding, then the COVID-19 pandemic hit and restrictions were put in place.
“We really pushed, opened it on January 12, and then around May it started spinning for us, people started coming out,” Oligschlaeger said. “We are more and more busy every week. Income, everything is increasing.”
Their goal now, of course, is to market their business. But, in the future, they would like to add a small kitchen where they can serve food (currently people can order their own food from nearby restaurants) and potentially expand with a second location.
There is no charge per game, but there is a table charge. However, at the time of ABC15’s visit, the owners were discussing replacing this fee with a minimum spending amount, similar to how comedy clubs operate.
During the pandemic, puzzles, board games, and video games became very popular as people were at home looking for things to do. Some of that would have diminished as the restrictions were lifted, as people returned to work and went out.
However, McCleary said Phoenix continues to have a large – and growing – gaming community.
“Phoenix has always had a strong player community,” he said. “I can’t think of a time when it wasn’t.”
In recent years, more and more sites have opened in the valley.
End of Game recently reopened in Mesa. Snakes & Lattes opened a few years ago in downtown Tempe. Pension Mox announcement earlier this year plans to open a location in Chandler. And there is also Phoenix Gaming Lounge at Phoenix.
In terms of classic video games, Cobra Arcade Bar is a popular place in downtown Phoenix. Stardust Lounge opened a few years ago inside Ziggy’s Pizza. Arcade bar level 1 downtown Gilbert is opening a second location in downtown Mesa. The Beer Research Institute opens a second site, called BIS Taproom, in downtown Mesa with classic arcade games and pinball machines.