NEW DETAILS: Dayton’s newest gamer bar & café reveals plans


NEW DETAILS: Dayton’s newest gamer bar & café reveals plans

The founder of what will become the Dayton area’s newest board-game café this fall said he nurtured his gaming enthusiasm from a young age.

“I think I got my first board game — it was Monopoly — when I was 7 years old., and it’s been all downhill ever since,” Ben T. Adams told this news outlet in an interview.

Adams unveiled today details of his plans for Cardboard Crowns, which will soon begin its build-out at 147 N. Springboro Pike (Ohio 741) near the Dayton Mall. The café will be located in the Corners at the Mall retail center that also includes ALDI and Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, among other businesses. Construction work is underway on the retail center’s exterior.

“Our goal is to be open in October or November of this year,” Adams said.

Plans call for a offering eight craft beers on tap and a selection of 30 to 40 bottled or canned craft beers, along with wines and a limited cocktail list, Adams said. The food menu will include lighter fare — sandwiches and snacks, mostly — with a focus on local suppliers and ingredients, Adams said.

The board games list will be extensive. “We’re looking at a starting library of 400 to 500 titles,” Adams said.

The selections will range from lighter games — Adams mentioned CodeNames, King of Tokyo and Cards Against Humanity as examples — to more involved, strategic games such as Scythe and Blood Rage. Cardboard Crowns’ staff will be trained to teach the basics of the cafés games, and to make recommendations to patrons who are looking for something new to try, the business founder said.

The new café’s concept is part of a national and local trend to combine gaming and drinks, although most of the local destinations focus on video and electronic games. One exception is Kettering gamer bar “D20: A Bar with Characters,” a board-game-themed bar that opened to an enthusiastic response in December 2016 at 2144 E. Whipp Road in the Oak Creek Plaza. It serves craft beer and cocktails, and encourages customers to bring in food from surrounding restaurants.

Adams, who holds two business degrees, said he looked at about a dozen locations across the region, including sites in downtown Dayton, Beavercreek and Kettering, before selecting the 3,500-square-foot space at the Corners at the Mall location within the Miamisburg city limits.

“This site suited us best,” Adams said. “It has an open layout, is easily accessible from I-75, and it has ample parking.”

Cardboard Crowns will open with eight to 10 employees, Adams said.

For more information, or to monitor the café’s progress, check out the Cardboard Crowns Facebook page at

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