Imagine a place to get together with friends on a Friday night where drinking isn’t the main focus, a place where customers actually interact with their loved ones instead of being glued to their phones. Derek Porter, our chosen Top Gunner for this week’s Talking Top Gun segment, will be opening one such place called The House of Meeples Board Game Café in downtown Bangor. His venue will allow customers to play board games, from the café’s collection, that may be too expensive to buy or require too much space to play in their own homes. The House of Meeples won’t appeal just to expert gamers, though; the café will employ “Game Gurus” who will be available to advise customers about which game they would enjoy the most and to explain the rules of each and every game in their vast library.
What was your inspiration for starting The House of Meeples Board Game Café?
The inspiration came from a pervasive problem in the (gaming) community. We need some place to get together, that’s open and friendly to everyone and not just a “clubhouse” for certain people. The more we’ve been getting together (to game) in groups, the more it’s become apparent that we need to have a space that’s there for everyone. Ultimately, I wanted to do a job that I love and that I’m passionate about, and I wanted to find a way to play games and get paid for it.
What are some of the advantages of trying to grow The House of Meeples in the Bangor region?
One of the advantages is that there’s already an established (gaming) community here; it’s very open and welcoming already. However, it’s very disparate because there are multiple (gaming) groups scattered all over the place. By having The House of Meeples open in the Bangor area, it will be a place for everyone to come together, which is what my ultimate goal is. The other advantage is that I’m very familiar with Bangor; this is the town that I grew up in, the town that I love.
What’s your long term vision for The House of Meeples?
My long term vision is to eventually have The House of Meeples in Portland and go on from there. If we do well up here, I know that we will do even better in Portland because there’s more people and a large (gaming) community down there that isn’t being served. Ultimately, I’d like to see us become a full service restaurant with an even larger library and a location that we own. I really just want to share my love for this new hobby and show people that board games aren’t just Monopoly, Sorry, Checkers, and Chess; it’s so much more than that!
If you would like to learn more about The House of Meeples, listen to Derek’s interview on The Pulse Morning show here, or visit their Facebook page here.
If you would like to hear more about the Top Gun Entrepreneurship Accelerator, visit our program page here.