Hanceville welcomes new shop and gathering spot for card and board gamers

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Co-owner Nikolaos McCormick welcomes visitors on OG’s opening day Thursday. (W.C. Mann for The Tribune)

HANCEVILLE – On Thursday, Hanceville’s downtown revitalization efforts took another step forward as the city welcomed Outbreak Games (OG) to the old Hanceville Herald building at 111 Commercial St. NE.  Brothers Clint and Nikolaos McCormick opened the business as a retail outlet for card, board and other games, and as a gathering spot for local gamers, some of whom were already hard at play when The Tribune stopped by Thursday evening. 

“To make a long story short,” said Nikolaos McCormick, “this is a childhood dream come to fruition.  From the time that we were about 10 years old, we made jokes to each other about opening a card shop.  So, it’s long-term planning that we never thought would actually happen, and here we are, finally of age and able to do something, and we saved up the money and decided to finally take a go at it.”

What’s your focus?

“The main priority is trading cards, but we’re also interested in doing card games, board games, video games.  We’re going to be building out and slowly expanding and diversifying our stock over time, so hopefully sooner rather than later, we’ll have a bigger variety in here.”

The back half of the shop is furnished with tables and chairs, as well as restrooms and a snack bar, to create what McCormick hopes will become a family-friendly destination for gamers of all ages.

Said McCormick, “Our play space is open to anybody and everybody.  The only thing we ask for is kindness, cleanliness, respect, courtesy . . . The focus, even down to the colors of our logo–the purple and gold–is intended to be community-focused.  These games, most of them, are listed ages 8 and up, and I want this store to be community-friendly. You see a no firearms sign on the door, no smoking sign on the door. There’s going to be children in here, and we expect them to be in here, hope they’ll be in here, and we want to provide a safe and fun environment for everyone.

“Especially the social dynamic with card games and board games, you know, it’s a face-to-face experience rather than playing in a chair in your bedroom, over a computer connection.  It’s a little more personal, coming in and playing face-to-face and having to talk to somebody else; so I’m hoping it’ll take off and be something good for everybody.”

OG may emphasize tabletop experiences over the online variety, but the store does have Wi-Fi and more.  For folks who play Pokémon GO, the Historical Hanceville mural on OG’s west-facing exterior wall is a Pokestop, and the Old Saloon mural right across the street is a Pokémon GO gym that is accessible from the shop.

OG opened at 2 p.m. on its first day, but its Facebook page indicates that the shop will be open from noon until 10 p.m., and the brothers said that they will be open all weekend.  For more, check outbreakgamesog on Facebook or Twitter.

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