For those of you who don’t know, Claire and I are both really into the Shop Local movement. We love the kind of environment and service you can only really get in a locally owned shop. So when our friend and teammate AdRock posted about Arsenal Game Room on our Facebook page we had to go check it out.
Arsenal Game Room is a cafe and gathering place for tabletop gamers. I had no idea a place like this existed in Indianapolis. Granted, I wouldn’t have known to look for it either. Claire and I headed down to talk to the owner Troy about his business and see what it was all about.
Troy came up with the idea for a community gaming space years ago when he would have his friends over for tabletop RPGs. He thought it’d be nice to have a place to go for 4-5 hours, get something to eat and play. He wanted to “have a little GenCon throughout the year.” Six years ago he settled on Fountain Square because it was centrally located and it was an up and coming area. And when he was downtown watching the fireworks, he saw the For Rent sign in the window and snatched it up.
He decorated the place himself, which is something he’s enjoyed doing since he was a kid. “I’ve always enjoyed themed rooms,” he said. Downstairs he has three themed rooms. In the back is the Dungeon Room because “you have to have a dungeon room.” There is the War Room inspired by his Marine career. And the Board Room which is a more neutral room that while it is setup well for games, also functions well as a professional meeting space, birthday party space, or a baby/wedding shower space. Not all of his themes have been a success. The War Room was originally the Back Alley Room with a brick wall, exposed pipes, and a gutter. It just wasn’t used much. A stark contrast to the War Room which is his most popular room. The upstairs has a more traditional cafe feel with classic board games on the wall, a retail space, and a counter where you can place your order.
You can reserve one of the basement rooms in advance for a group for a small fee, but otherwise playing at Arsenal is free. Just grab yourself anything from a small snack to a full meal and settle in for the evening. You can also pick up new games, dice, or figurines if you need them. Troy sells dice individually as well, which is handy in case you’re running into a string of bad luck.
You can find out who’s going to be playing what on any given day by checking out the Arsenal Game Room forums. There are games for all levels of player from seasoned vet to complete newbie. There are all sorts of games from 1st Edition Dungeons and Dragons to the weekly board game meetup with the Indy Gaming Meetup Group. We crashed a Dungeons and Dragons game for a few minutes. And as Troy had said they would be, they were very welcoming. We came by their table, explained we were writing a piece about the game room, and asked if we could watch for a bit. The group was a range of skills from new player (much like Claire and myself) to players who had been playing for a while. It was definitely a friendly atmosphere.
Arsenal Game Room
874 Virginia Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46203
Monday – Thursday: 5:00pm-10:pm
Friday: 5:00pm – Midnight
Saturday: 11:00am – Midnight
Sunday: 1:00pm – 9:00pm
There’s a small lot on the south side of the building. Plus street parking.