Steven Bryant, former co-owner of Heroes Comics and Cards, decided that selling comic books was not really his thing. Yet, he still wanted to do something with his passion for Magic the Gathering, a popular trading card game.
"I sold my share of Heroes to my partner and I took some time off before I opened the store here," said Bryant.
"Here" is Battlegrounds Gaming, located at 276 Main Ave. in Norwalk. The store opened in July of 2011 and is dedicated to tabletop gaming of all genres. This includes Magic the Gathering, Warhammer, Dungeons and Dragons and even Monopoly.
While the wide variety of games for sale is an important part of the store, the real attraction is a collection of folding tables in the back. This is where gamers come to face off against one another. There are Magic nights, Warhammer nights and bring-your-own-game nights, where customers can bring their favorite board games to play with other customers. For the Magic and Warhammer tournaments, there is an entrance fee which ends up funding the prizes for the winners.
These tournaments, according to Bryant, attract somewhere between 30 and 40 people a night, and competitors gather from all over the county and beyond, and they are a dedicated crowd.
"We've got a lot of regulars here," Bryant said. "Every once in a while we'll see some new people but it's mostly familiar faces."
Bryant has two employees that work in the store, and he said business is going well.
"The store is close to a success," Bryant said. "I'd like to be able to pay myself a little more, but I enjoy working here. It's a popular destination place because there aren't very many stores like this in the area."
Bryant hopes that the communal aspect of the store will keep it alive.
"A lot of these games can be bought online, and maybe cheaper too, but you can't play online, and that's what this space is for and that's why it's special," Bryant said.