Talking Business: Blue Cat Games offers board gamers a place to meet, eat and defeat | Local Business


A new small business is bringing video game nights into the 3 Rivers Mall.

Blue Cat Games opened in January at the southern conclude of the mall in the vicinity of the Regal Cinemas. The keep reached the 2nd phase of its evolution this month when it opened its kitchen, turning into a board match café.

Proprietors Ben and Kristen Otteson say they want Blue Cat Game titles to be as substantially of a social area as a small business. 1 of the motives they wanted a storefront in the mall was to draw in folks strolling by, even if they only stopped by for a snack or a speedy card match whilst ready for a film.

“We’re seeking to be all-encompassing. We’re not just right here to provide you a match, you can get a meal and spend time with men and women,” Ben Otteson reported.

Otteson still left Longview immediately after graduating from substantial faculty. He ran Western Paladin Video games in Walla Walla from 2012 until the pandemic shut his retail outlet in 2020. The Ottesons moved again to Cowlitz County to be nearer to family members and after their daughter was born, they started earning designs to open up a new business enterprise.

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Around the initially 4 months, a handful of beloved video games have turn into the most preferred with visitors. Competitive card games like Magic: The Accumulating and Pokémon have been the concentration of several of the larger events. Other crowds have come by for tabletop part-participating in games like Dungeons & Dragons or classics like cribbage and bingo.

A surprise hit is Klask, a variation of air hockey performed on a little magnetic board. A number of Klask boards dot the tables all through the retailer.

At the back again of the keep is Blue Cat’s substantial library of board and card online games. The Ottesons retain a copy of practically each recreation which is for sale in the library so customers can check out them out before acquiring them.

“We get a lot of moms and dads coming through with young children, on the lookout to discover a thing that is going to entertain all of the loved ones. Staying ready to give it a shot tends to make it less difficult,” Otteson explained.

Kristen Otteson manages the food items aspect of the business enterprise. The April menu options largely incredibly hot canines and sandwiches, together with some beverages and more compact treats. The incredibly hot dogs have been the most well-known meal about the initial several months, in particular the BCG Seattle Puppy and a Nutty Narrows Canine topped with peanut much better and jalapenos.

“We’ll be altering the menu seasonally, we can alter the artwork and the board online games at the entrance of the store. Each individual time you occur in will be a very little different,” Ben Otteson stated.

People can drop by to play the majority of their game titles for cost-free. The main exceptions are the foosball and shuffleboard tables, which are aspect of the store’s membership program. Users pay back $20 for a 4-month season of entry to people tables, the store’s Wi-Fi password and booster packs for event games like Magic the Collecting.

Otteson explained the 3rd period of Blue Cat Games’ growth will concentration on furnishing far more specific activities and tournaments. The store’s been tests different gatherings and times to see what functions finest.

Not just about every party has been a hit, but the Ottesons say that is element of figuring out where the community’s passions are and how they can present the ideal attainable atmosphere.

“It’s a very little bit like a bar,” Ben Otteson mentioned. “You want to have that social sensation and significant vitality. You want to be here gaming when any person else is gaming.”


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