GameKnight Games, Winnipeg’s premier board game store, is proud to announce they will be expanding to a bigger better location. This new venue will effectively double the size of the current store, and is only a few blocks away. Still located in Winnipeg’s South Central area, the new location will be at 519 Osborne Street. Much of the new space will be dedicated to Organized Play, with a more integrated focus on having people play in store. GameKnight already rents board games, so having an increased play area will allow us to schedule more weekly events, and still have room for special functions, larger events, and private parties. Optimistically we are hoping for an early April move and re-opening.
GameKnight began as a side business in 2003 to Grape & Grain, sharing an area in the back of the store with only a few shelves of product. At the time the primary focus was on Dungeons & Dragons, miniatures, poker supplies and darts, with only a small representation of board games. While Dungeons & Dragons, and Role Playing Games (RPGs) still hold strong in the store today, the business is primarily filled with board games and collectible card games like Magic the Gathering and Pokemon.
GameKnight moved out of its closet sized area in 2009 into a sizable store with great visibility at 726 Osborne and soon became a neighbourhood fixture. While still sharing a space with Grape & Grain, customers were now greeted with board games upon first entering the store, with the wine and beer kits on the side. It didn’t take long to realize that even more space was needed. GameKnight increased its retail area by merchandising what was initially the gaming area. Renovations were started to increase the size of the building, but protracted dealings with the City of Winnipeg dragged this process out for almost 5 years before being able to utilize that portion of the building. However, another solution presented itself when nearby retail space became available and Grape & Grain was moved across the street and GameKnight was able to fully retail out of that portion of the building as well.
With nowhere left to expand into, the time has now come to move forward and into a larger facility. The building at 519 Osborne St. will give GameKnight much more street front presence while still keeping the local neighbourhood business feel. Local area teens will still be able to come and hang out at the newly expanded “clubhouse”. GameKnight used to rent a local gymnasium for its larger scale Magic the Gathering pre-release events, X-Wing tournaments, and Board Game Days, and will now be able to run these exciting events in house. The increased square footage dedicated to boards games, card games, role playing games and various pop culture merchandise will cement its place as a “go to” destination for Winnipeggers and visitors to our city alike.
With the new facility being able to run events of a larger nature, and more of them, GameKnight will be in a position to hire more experts to represent the various games and the events that revolve around them. We are possibly looking at a full time events coordinator, plus more part time staff. Exciting times are ahead for us. A bigger better store with more visibility and increased functionality will help the company grow, even in the face of cutthroat internet sellers. Online stores do nothing to foster a local environment, and we will always be able to be more to our customers than just a merchandise pick up. So if you like games and gaming, stay tuned as great things are coming. Come and play with us!