Mid-Summer Update

Carrie has been posting updates on Facebook showing the progress of the building renovations.   Our landlord, Lee Properties, LLC, has been working hard trying to balance his timeline, and the safety of workers due to the pandemic.

Our lease does not start until September 1st, or when the city signs off that the space is occupy-able.   We were hoping to be able to get some interior finish work done during the month of August, but that is looking less and less likely.

I have been working on the back end getting licenses and permits, Tax Ids, setting up the accounting and payroll systems.   Dave and I choose to use LightspeedHQ as our Point of Sale and e-Commerce solution.   We’re working now on loading the inventory we have already, and getting the web store set up.

We’ve put in a bid to purchase the inventory and fixtures of a store that is closing up.  We hope to learn in a week or so if that bid was successful.   If so, it will give us a great start on inventory, and furnishings.

Friends and associates we’ve met over the years are helping out with their professional services, and sage advice.  My dear friend Jeffry Pike at Pike Creates to finalize design and promotional imagery.  Dave and Carries old friend, John Wrisley, a veteran local game and comic store owner has been giving us sage advice on starting up and management.  Lewissa Quinn at Threads of Time has agreed to help create some custom vests for Dave, Carrie and I so we look ‘professional’ behind the counter.  Not to mention the private encouragement and support of so many of our friends and family

There is still a lot of work left to do.  We need to get the signage planned and approved, we need to order the tables, chairs, shelves, and oh yes… the games!

Success! Thank you!

We are deeply encouraged by your support for our MainVest campaign. 46 investors raised over $25,000 to fund improvements to the interior space, and get assistance with a website design and marketing.  

We can not deny that we have some significant challenges ahead with the overall economy, and the realities of social distancing over the next few months.

We are somewhat blessed, in that the earliest we expect to open is in September. This gives us time to adjust any procedures, orders, and staffing to meet the needs of our customers.

If you have not already, feel free to join our Facebook groups to follow the conversations. We’re encouraged by the support of the folks in Haverhill. There are requests for different product lines and events. Folks are also celebrating the renovation of a landmark building in Washington Square.

Lee Properties have a lot of work to be done this summer. We’ve been working closely with them to get our plans for the interior space realized.

The exterior work has begun. The bricked up windows are cleared, and their replacement windows are ready for installation.

The interior is fully gutted. It will be a few months before finishing work can be completed.

We’ll keep posting updates, of course.

Thank you, everyone for your support. We have a lot of work to do, to prove the faith and trust you’ve placed in us. We couldn’t be more excited!

7 Days and Counting…

We are so close… 74% funded! We have one week left to meet our goal of $20,000 in our MainVest campaign.

This funding will allow us to add some additional customizations to the space. We have a mezzanine space already set aside for a semi-private gaming experience. We want to add one more large private reservable room as well.

Dave and I are hoping to populate the room with miniatures and terrain from our collections of Wizkids, Reapers, WarHammer, and Dwarven forge.

We’ll also be using these funds to get a professional website and social media presence and get our on-line store up and running for merchandise requests and pre-orders.

A deephearted thank you to the 23 investors who have contributed toward our crowdfunding campaign. Please like and share. Reach out to people who may be interested in supporting the gaming community in Haverhill.

We have a location!

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We’ve come to terms on a lease for the commercial space in the Prescott Building, 2 Washington Street, Haverhill, MA

The building is currently undergoing historical renovations. We will be sharing more information and photos as work progresses.

Work on the building, and our build out will progress over the next several months. We are looking at a proposed September 01, 2020 opening.

We still have a number of details to work out. Our finishing touches, reservable tables and rooms, and service offerings will be entirely dependent on a number of cost factors.

If you would like to help with making this new gaming space a success (and get a decent return for your investment), please visit our MainVest (https://mainvest.com/b/queens-gambit-haverhill) page and make an investment of as little as $50.00.

And please, let us know what you are looking for in a game store / gaming parlor… We’d love to hear your ideas, and hopefully make some a reality.

Thank you.

P.S. 

Please… 

stay home, cover your cough, wash your hands

and support your local small businesses during this trying time

let’s hope by September we are all ready to gather around some tables and play some games! 

COVID-19 and Queen’s Gambit

I wanted to reach out addressing COVID-19’s effect on Queen’s Gambit.   We are still deeply involved in planning and preparation our store for a mid to late summer 2020 opening.   While it is within reason that COVID-19’s most serious effects will have passed by that time, we are keeping current events in mind.  

As the owner, I am making it a priority that employees will have a livable wage, and access to affordable health care and sick leave.   I view this as essential to ensure the safety and well-being of the staff, without whom this endeavor cannot succeed.   These essential policies are going to be crucial to the success of our store, and community.  

Dave, Carrie and I are preparing store policy and procedures to emphasize employee and customer health and well-being.   There are a number of excellent examples in the gaming community we will be emulating, as well as the essential CDC guidelines:  stay home if sick, cover your cough, and wash your hands.

We are proceeding with all due deliberation to bring to the Haverhill and Mill City communities the best gaming store, gaming center, and gaming community possible.  They will not be possible without your assistance, either through investment or patronage.   Thank you for your support, and encouragement.

Best,

Russ Morgridge

Thanks TRI for hosting DDAL at PAX East 2020!

I spent some quality time with my friends in The Role Initiative this past two weekends, at TotalCon 33 and PAX East 2020. They offered Queen’s Gambit a chance to help sponsor their booth at PAX East, and of course I jumped at the chance. They also write excellent Con-Exclusive Content for DDAL. Be sure to check out their event calendar for upcoming events!

TRI does great work running Dungeons and Dragons Adventurer’s League events at many New England gaming conventions. I hope to have their help getting some Dungeons and Dragons Organized Play available at Queen’s Gambit as well.

We’ve narrowed down our location search… more information coming soon™!

We’ve looked long and hard at several excellent locations in Haverhill. We’ve looked at some plaza spaces, side street retail and main street (literally) retail spaces.

We’ve honed in on properties on Downtown Haverhill’s newly dubbed “Restaurant Row” and are excited by the possibilities. In particular is the work to restore much of the storefronts to a historical appearance. This will give the neighborhood a late 1800’s look and feel that we plan to capitalize on in our interior design and decor. This is where the capital raise is most needed.


As for our business model in general, we are looking to take advantage of some overall trends in the entertainment market. Such as:

  • Surge in disruptive hospitality – order your food online or visit a food truck – Queen’s Gambit doesn’t need to invest in food service or equipment. You can always have your favorite meal thanks food trucks and delivery
  • Trends toward casual, accessible venues over formal settings.
  • People are living in smaller homes as housing prices skyrocket, making it harder to host gatherings in minimal space

Rather than opening up another cafe / bar / restaurant on Washington Street, we will offer a space for people to meet and enjoy a board / card / party game from our extensive library. Or they can participate in role-playing game / miniature game sessions, with some hosted by the store.


We hope to soon be able to provide a preview of the space we are building, so that you can share in the excitement!