Gaming chain comes to city


Alan Hubbard, The Gaming Goat manager, stands behind a display desk at The Gaming Goat, 311 E. Lincoln Highway. The store, which opened Saturday, sells board games, trading cards and more.

By Carl Nadig

The city’s entertainment skill just leveled up.

Saturday, locals attended the grand opening of DeKalb’s newest recreational store, The Gaming Goat, 311 E. Lincoln Highway. For the afternoon, attendees played games focused on fantasy, science fiction and family.

The store strives to offer lower prices than manufacturers and Amazon.

“There’s already a pretty strong group of people who use the other stores who are students out here,” said manager Alan Hubbard. “…We’ll find out what the manufacturer recommends, and we take 30 percent off. And if Amazon’s cheaper than that then we’ll match it up to 40 percent.”

Jeff Bergren is the CEO of The Gaming Goat company and partial owner of the local store. Besides DeKalb, Bergren operates six satellite stores, including locations in Schaumburg, Oak Park and Geneva.

“With gaming specifically, if you’re hardcore in what you enjoy, we’re always going to get those clients because we do it in a much higher and effective level,” Bergren said. “And why I like this location is that we actually scoop up all of this community.

“What we’re trying to do is … we could’ve taken this and put it right in the middle of campus, [and] we could’ve got all of the kids. But I feel that … people will come over here because they know the experience is awesome.”

Before opening, The Gaming Goat had to be renovated. The building was once used as a Cash 4 Gold store, with bullet-proof dividers in the store’s interior. Now, the store includes shelves stocked with games, including Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: The Gathering and Apples to Apples.

A portion of the space is reserved for customers who want start playing their purchases on large tables.

“What we do is based off of what our customers want,” said John Taylor, Gaming Goat’s partial owner. “That’s going to be totally determined, what people want and what the interest is. It’s all generated by the community….”