New gaming café gears up for October opening near the Dayton Mall

The founder of a board-game café under construction near the Dayton Mall is using a Kickstarter campaign to expand the cafe’s game library and will host a party this Saturday at a Dayton brewery to help launch the effort in style.

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And yes, board games will be part of the Cardboard Crowns launch party, which will be held from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16 at Warped Wing Brewing Co. at 26 Wyandot St. in downtown Dayton. In addition to games for all ages, Cardboard Crowns also will raffle off board games throughout the day. There is no admission charge.

“We’re launching the Kickstarter to help us expand the cafe’s game library and to help us boost our board game art and decor throughout the cafe,” founder Ben T. Adams said. “We also want to provide a way for the community to really buy into the space and to make them feel like they had a hand in helping us make Cardboard Crowns a reality.”

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Pledge levels start at $5, "and every person who donates will get their name on a hex that will be inlaid into the cafe's bar top to show they supported us from the beginning," Adams said. Details can be found at the Cardboard Crowns Kickstarter Launch page.

Buildout of the space at 147 N. Springboro Pike (Ohio 741) in the Corners at the Mall retail center is progressing. “We’re still shooting for a mid-to-late October opening,” Adams said.

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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 has said. The food menu will include lighter fare — sandwiches and snacks, mostly.

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

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The selections will range from lighter games to more involved, strategic games. 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, Adams said.

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The new café’s concept is part of a national and local trend to combine gaming and drinks. Adams 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.

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

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