For nearly 20 years, Heroic Realms in Evergreen has offered an escape for lovers of tabletop games, role-playing games and board games.
Behind the walls of the storefront on U.S. 2, local players gather to compete in games, including Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering. Heroic Realms hosts game nights every evening except for Monday.
“We keep it hopping every day of the week,” co-owner Jared Mecham said. He said the place is most packed on Thursday and Friday nights.
Mecham runs the store along with co-founder Chris Beadles. Mecham called Chris the “heart and soul” of the shop.
“It’s a way to run a business and do your hobbies,” Mecham said.
On Tuesday, Heroic Realms hosts skirmish and tabletop games. Wednesday is board-game night, and Thursday is devoted to the Dungeons & Dragons Adventurers League.
Friday is the big Magic: The Gathering night, while Saturday offers a more casual environment for Magic and other tabletop games. Sunday is the afternoon Commander League.
The retail section of the store offers a wide range of games and sets for popular role-playing games such as Pathfinder and tabletop war games like Warhammer. But the store carries a lot more board games than it used to, as board games have surged in popularity.
Mecham explained that at the Gen Con convention in Indianapolis – the largest tabletop game convention in North America – there were 50 new board games five years ago. This year, there were around 5,000 new board games.
Mecham said the store started carrying board games as the industry was beginning to boom. “I think we fired off at the right time” with board games, he said.
Heroic Realms carries “some really unique board games,” Mecham said, including “some of the more obscure board games box stores don’t.”
The store’s focus is expanding in size and scope. Mecham bought the café a few doors down to provide another food option for the gamers. They named it Enchanted Realms, and it features distinctly Dungeons & Dragons-themed sandwiches.
Mecham said Heroic Realms tries to “support some of our local folks.” He said the store is working on partnering with Kalispell Kreamery for ice-cream sandwiches, and in the middle of the store’s retail area are plush dice bags made to look like dragon eggs, created by local artist Rita Morris.
Locals are not the only visitors to Heroic Realms. While Mecham said the store has “a core group of people we love and appreciate,” he said the summertime brings a lot of tourists.
Magic: The Gathering’s pre-release events – where players get their first chance to play with cards from a brand new set – are a big deal for Magic fans. If tourists who play Magic are in town from other places, they will go to Heroic Realms for the pre-release event. Mecham said there might be up to 100 people packed in the small store for these events.
Heroic Realms also recently started a channel on Twitch, a popular platform for live-streaming games. It is called the KaoticNightNetwork and is focused on streaming games such as Pathfinder, Dungeon Delvers and Warhammer.
“We’ve got a great community who kicks in,” Mecham said. “We have a lot of fun with it.”
Heroic Realms is located on 2181 U.S. 2 E. and is open from 2 to 10 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday; 2 to 11 p.m. on Friday; 12 to 10 p.m. on Saturday; and 12 to 4 p.m. on Sunday. It is closed on Mondays.
Reporter Colin Gaiser may be reached at 758-4439 or firstname.lastname@example.org.