Brand new to the Short North Arts District, Kingmakers Board Game Parlour is a place where nostalgia meets new memories and strangers can become friends over a seemingly endless library of over 250 board games and an array of snack and beverage offerings to pair with them. We had a chance to speak with founder Malika de Silva about Kingmakers and how things have been going since the opening, and she provided insight into how Kingmakers came to be and how they work to provide a great board gaming experience.

The concept for a board game destination in Columbus came to Malika through inspiration from a similar concept she experienced in Toronto called Snakes and Lattes. “Over the past year and a half board game shops, cafes, and lounges have kind of popped up all over North America,” she explained.

Kingmakers will be the first of its kind in the Short North, located in the lower level of 17 Buttles Avenue. While she did consider a number of locations around Columbus and spent well over a year searching for a place for Kingmakers to call home, Malika is very pleased with being able to be located in the Short North. “There’s no better neighborhood than the Short North,” she said of their location. “I think every other neighborhood has pockets of foot traffic and pockets of established businesses, but as far as the longevity, the attention, and the focus gravitating toward a certain place, the Short North is the only place that has that.”

Whether you’re a hardcore gamer or just looking for a fun night out with friends or family, they’re sure to provide plenty of fun for everyone. Kingmakers’ Board Game Sommeliers are able to teach and lead you through a game you’ve never played before and make recommendations based on your gaming preferences, or if you’d like to play something more familiar, their library also includes a number of classics, including The Game of Life, Clue, and multiple varieties of Monopoly. We asked Malika what words would best describe Kingmakers, and the response included words like rambunctious, jovial, lively, simple, fun, playful, and unique, and ended with, “You can’t really come down here and have a bad time.”

Along with their vast library of board games that can be accessed for a mere $5.00 library fee, they serve a delicious selection of carefully curated snacks and beverages.  These board game friendly refreshments will include a number of beers, wines, coffees, teas, specialty sodas, and fresh-baked pretzels from Brezel of North Market fame.

With their snack selection and atmosphere, the focus is still on creating a great board game experience. For instance, they’ve designed their selection to include no hard liquor and to keep their snack options limited to choices that won’t get games dirty or interfere with the overall gaming experience.

The Short North Alliance is pleased to welcome Kingmakers to the District, and we are certainly excited to welcome another interesting addition to all that the Short North has to offer! We encourage you to take a trip to Kingmakers and experience it for yourself.

More information can be found on their website and Facebook page.

– Kory Kasler