DeKALB – Sycamore resident Jake Jensen used to drive all the way to Elgin to visit one of his favorite gaming stores.
Jensen won’t have to do that anymore. The Gaming Goat, a regional chain with eight locations across northeastern Illinois, opened its newest location in DeKalb last week.
The store at 311 E. Lincoln Highway, offers hobby shop games with both board games and card games such as Yu-Gi-Oh! and Magic: The Gathering.
“It’s great for the community [for the store] to be here,” Jensen said. “I’m seeing a lot of new faces I’ve never seen before.”
Manager Alan Hubbard opened the store Jan. 18. He said the chain wanted to open a DeKalb location because they were getting lots of requests from Northern Illinois University students.
The store is in the process of becoming a DeKalb Chamber of Commerce member.
Hubbard said he sells cards at a cheap price that people can’t find anywhere else, and he doesn’t sell anything online to keep purchases in DeKalb.
“That levels the playing field for the community,” Hubbard said.
Those who visit can play some of the store’s most popular games for free or even reserve a room with a TV for $10. Those who reserve a room will receive a $10 in-store credit, Hubbard said.
Business so far has been almost overwhelming, Hubbard said. The DeKalb store already has 202 likes on its Facebook page.
“It’s going as well as we possibly could have hoped,” Hubbard said.
Customers were playing a Yu-Gi-Oh! game Friday awaiting the release of the newest version of the card game.
DeKalb resident James Hattan was watching customers play. He said he used to frequent a different gaming store in the area but said he loves The Gaming Goat.
“It seems to help out my pocket,” Hattan said. “I’m happy that places like these are in DeKalb.”
Ryan Adams, also of DeKalb, said he’s excited there’s another gaming store in the area because students with different schedules can now choose where they want to shop.
The Gaming Goat is mostly open afternoons and evenings.
Adams said the area’s multiple gaming stores are good competition for the consumer.
“They have a lot of energy for not being here very long,” Adams said. “Here, I have access to a much larger collection.”
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/TGGDekalb.