If you’re looking to spend some quality time with family or friends — or just hoping to snag the perfect gift for that hobby gamer in your life — you’ll find what you’re looking for at The Wandering Dragon Game Shoppe in downtown Plainfield.
The family run shop, located on the second floor of the historic Steiner building at 24026 W. Lockport St., opened June 30 and has already found its niche with game lovers, according to owner Kevin Martin.
“So far it’s been encouraging,” he said of the traffic at the downtown Plainfield shop.
Martin, who runs the shop with wife Laura and son Elias, 14, said he opened the business as a way to bring fun family competition to Plainfield.
“We used to game as kids, and we got back into it when our son was 7 or 8,” he said. As the family traveled to area game shops to participate in tournaments, Martin said he saw how much fun the players had during the friendly competitions.
“We just fell in love with hobby gaming,” he said.
Martin, a Plainfield resident, said he wanted to open up shop in the village, but was looking for a unique space that would allow for sales, plus a game room for tournaments and other activities.
“We were trying since day 1 to get a space down here. We wanted to have a store area but also have space to teach people,” he said.
The family struck gold when they found the space in the Steiner building.
“It’s perfect,” Martin said. “We love the downtown area.”
Customers and gaming novices — who can be daunted by the long-winded instructions that come with many games — can come in and get tutorials on how to play, or test games out free of charge.
The Wandering Dragon also has a game library for customers who want to take games for a test drive before buying.
“Some of the rule books can be intimidating,” Martin said. “It’s a lot better if people can try it out.”
Martin said he wants to spread the word about The Wandering Dragon to residents who might not know what the shop is all about.
While many people associate the word “gaming” with video games, The Wandering Dragon specializes in games of all kinds — from board games to cards, dice, role-playing games and table-top gaming.
“It could be a quick 15-minute game or games that last days, weeks or months,” Martin said.
The downtown Plainfield store hosts frequent tournaments and events, along with movie nights.
“On Halloween, we showed some of the Universal monster movies,” Martin said.
On New Year’s Eve, the Plainfield shop will host a 24-hour gaming marathon to benefit Lamb’s Fold Center for Women and Children in Joliet, Martin said.
“We try to have something new every day,” Martin said.
What: The Wandering Dragon Game Shoppe
Where: 24026 W. Lockport St. in downtown Plainfield
Hours: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 9 p.m. Monday-Friday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday