Kickstarter Highlight: Social Gaming Cafe in Bellevue
ATTN: Bellevue, Washington
You have some new visitors, and they want to say “Hello” to their new city by opening a social gaming cafe this fall. Jessica Schattie and her husband just moved to Bellevue from Fort Collins, Colorado. They currently have a Kickstarter campaign for Gaslamp Social Games Cafe in Bellevue, which they say will be “a comfortable spot to hang out, play games, and enjoy our amazing coffee and snacks while you spend time with friends new and old.” Check out the video below.
You’ll never be able to complain that Seattle gets all the cool events and businesses! We caught up with Jessica to ask her a few questions about the Kickstarter project, which ends on June 17. Check out what she has to say about coffee, board games, and her vision for Gaslamp below.
Can you tell us a little more about your vision for Gaslamp Social Games Cafe?
My vision for Gaslamp Social Games Cafe is a place where folks can come to create a community. My husband and I have met so many wonderful people through gaming, and we want to create a place where others can make those connections. I envision it something like a personal library from the 1800s – warm tones, comfortable seating, vintage-y touches here and there, wrought iron accents, and of course shelves stacked full of games. Add in a cup of coffee or tea and a few friends to pass the evening with, and you’ll be all set.
How did the idea to create Gaslamp Social Games Cafe come about?
The idea for Gaslamp Social Games Cafe was a direct product of our experience with Haunted Game Cafe in Fort Collins, CO. A friend of ours had discovered it and insisted we check it out. We were absolutely in love with it from the get-go, and the more we thought about it, the more we wanted to do something just like it. We approached the owner, Gary, for advice on how to get started – he has been instrumental in helping us build our plans for the future of Gaslamp.
What is going to make this board game cafe different?
The board game cafe concept is a fairly new one – in fact, Haunted Game Cafe was one of the first in the country. What makes Gaslamp different is how we’re combining the two business concepts: we’re essentially creating a game store with a coffee bar in it. It is designed to feel more like a cafe than a game store, but with an emphasis on community, interaction, and game play. It’ll be a great place to bring friends or go on a date – as well as a comfortable place for gamers to get their geek on, so to speak.
Why did you choose Bellevue?
Before starting on this crazy venture, I used to work for a corporate shipping company. They sent me out to Bellevue for training, and I absolutely fell in love with the place. Meanwhile, things at home in Fort Collins were getting rough. The job market tanked with the economy, and my husband and I both struggled to keep our heads above water financially. After several months of struggling with unemployment and dealing with hardships in our personal life, we decided we needed to get out and start living our dreams. It was kind of a case of “nothing left to lose,” and we wanted to start over in a place that would offer us different opportunities than we could find in Colorado.
If you do get the funding you need to start your cafe, when do you hope to open?
As soon as possible! I’m shooting for no later than August, but it will really depend on how quickly we can get everything together. Luckily we have a great support group, and a few of our Kickstarter backers have been super-helpful when it comes to getting our bearings.
You and your husband have some major coffee experience. Do you have any favorite brand or flavors?
Yes! We are actually fortunate enough to personally know a gal who roasts coffee, Jackie of Jackie’s Java. She makes the best espresso and coffee we’ve ever had, hands-down. I’m so enamored with it that I’m actually signing on to serve it at Gaslamp – I think, in an area already overgrown with Starbucks, Tully’s, and Peet’s, a craft roaster like Jackie’s Java will really stand out in a crowd. Plus, she sources all her beans in person directly from small family farms all over the world, so everything is fair-trade and organic.
What are some of your favorite board games right now?
Oh, man – so many! We just played Disaster Looms!, which is currently getting funded on Kickstarter, and we love that one. Most of our favorites are cooperative games – Castle Panic, Forbidden Island, Pandemic… ooh, and Arkham Horror, when we’re in the mood for a chewy, rules-heavy game. We’ve also worked out a drinking-game version of Apples to Apples – for home use only, obviously, and I don’t recommend it if you plan to spend the next day anywhere but in bed with all the lights out. 🙂
We are GeekGirlCon, so we have to ask: what kind of things are you geeky about?
I’d be worried if you didn’t ask! Other than the obvious, Jere and I are both really into crafting. He does woodworking – he’s made some really beautiful tobacco pipes. I knit borderline obsessively, paint miniatures for roleplaying, sometimes make my own jewelry (although most projects turn into stitch markers for knitting), and have recently started a mini-foray into sewing (hence the hand-sewn dice bags on our Kickstarter rewards list). I’m also a big English nerd – we’ve gotten to the point where Jere even has me proofread his texts. It’s a blessing and a curse.
Thanks, Jessica! Good luck with your Kickstarter.