Business

Coverage of businesses originating in and/or catering to the MN geek community, including but not limited to gaming companies, publishers, stores, favorite geek hangouts, start-ups with cool ideas, and Kickstarters worth noting.

St. Paul Restaurant just/us Has Upended Its Business in Solidarity with Displaced Residents

St. Paul’s just/us, an American restaurant located in the Viking Apartments, has closed its doors. The closure on April 20, 2019, came less than a year and a half after owner Nathan Docken—who, full disclosure, is a D&D buddy of mine—had opened the doors in December 2017. Besides great food, just/us was also a home to the local arts community. The restaurant hosted an open-mic night every Tuesday. Nathan says, “Because we allow everybody to do whatever, we’ve become...

Cream & Amber Is Slinging Books, Beer, and Beans in Downtown Hopkins

The Twin Cities bookstore scene has gone through a lot of changes in the first part of 2019. St. Paul’s Sixth Chamber started selling off inventory in January ahead of closing its doors, followed by Micawber’s in March after owner Tom Bielenberg was injured in a fall. In nearby Stillwater, Loome Books has also closed. But there’s new life, too. The former Common Good Books has a new owner and a new name, Next Chapter Booksellers, and the metro...

The MN Guide to Free Comic Book Day 2019

Every year on the first Saturday in May, comic shops open their doors to give out specially designated comics for free as well as take the opportunity to host creator appearances, sales, giveaways, and more. This year, Free Comic Book Day also coincides with my all-time favorite holiday: May the 4th! Whether you celebrate Star Wars Day or not, there are some solid comics deals going on in the Twin Cities. Click here for the full list of free...

The MN Guide to Independent Bookstore Day 2019

On April 27, 2019, indie bookstores in Minnesota and around the country will be celebrating Independent Bookstore Day, which as always is great news for book lovers. Officially participating stores will have exclusive Independent Bookstore Day items—which can include tote bags, advance reader copies (ARCs), posters, clothing, and more—and many will also be offering sales, author appearances, free treats, and other goodies. Other stores won’t have these “official” items but are celebrating on their own. You can find all...

Twin Cities Geek Adds Subreddit, Discord Server, and More

It has always been a goal of the Twin Cities Geek organization to provide online spaces where topics important to members of Minnesota geek communities can be discussed in fun, constructive, responsible, and impactful ways. Twin Cities Geek got its start on Facebook, but it is important for us to expand beyond that platform. If we want to be inclusive, we cannot limit our online community space to one third-party website whose policies are constantly evolving in directions we...

Can Can Wonderland Highlights the Artistic Value of Retro Gaming

The Twin Cities has so many unique bars, and I wanted to check out a retro gaming bar that has been drawing lots of traffic since it opened in 2017: Can Can Wonderland. At first, you might not suspect that Can Can truly fits this category, but the arcade portion, which sits adjacent to its famous minigolf, has attracted the local Twin Cities crowd, similar to other retro gaming locations in the market. I wanted to delve deeper into...

Afropunk Tabletop Game Swordsfall Hits Crowdfunding Success

Sci fi and fantasy have a long history of trying to nudge humanity toward a better version of itself. Whether by cautioning us about possible futures or putting current issues on display through direct allegory, such media helps us explore our problems and our potential. In particular, tabletop role-playing games offer a chance to engage these narratives in a uniquely direct way, which can be a fantastic opportunity for players to expand their horizons and experience new ideas in...

Chatterbox Pub Is the Perfect Retro Gaming Haven for a First Date

While I was doing research for my last article, I reached out to Steven Miller, who is the owner of Chatterbox Pub in Minneapolis. I thought it would be interesting to get his take on the retro gaming scene in the Twin Cities, especially since his pub was one of the first to service the local retro gaming community. I walked into the bar and was instantly taken back to my childhood as I noticed the vintage Nintendo Power...

Twin Cities Comic Shops Celebrate Hellboy Day on March 23, 2019

To mark 25 years since the first Hellboy comic, Dark Horse has declared that March 23, 2019, is officially Hellboy Day. Not only can I barely believe that it’s been 25 years since I first saw Hellboy on the shelves of what was then my local comic store in the Hillcrest Center, it’s hard to get my head around how extensive the adventures have become. With two live-action movies in the past and a reboot coming soon, a dozen...

Up-Down Minneapolis Bottles Gaming Nostalgia for Twin Cities Millennials

When I first walked into Up-Down a few years ago, around the time it opened, I felt an instant nostalgic attachment. I noticed the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game and nearby, an unused X-Men arcade cabinet. Both sat beckoning me to reclaim my youth. I was flooded with memories of a local pizza shop and arcade in Appleton, Wisconsin, where I spent birthdays, Friday nights, and the celebrations after stellar report cards. I would rapidly scarf down the...
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