Two self-proclaimed Med City “nerds” are putting all their cards on the table with their new gaming shop.
On Tuesday, Andrew Leatherman and Rob McKinley opened the doors of The Great Hall at 324 Elton Hills Drive NW, appropriately in the Valhalla Business Center. It’s in the space that last housed Rochester Tattoo, which closed earlier this month.
Standing behind a display case full of Magic: The Gathering cards, Leatherman explained that while the duo are big fans of the Magic game, The Great Hall is more than that.
“We plan to carry pretty much anything gaming related,” he said. That means Dungeons & Dragons, traditional board games and Pokemon, plus things like pop culture statues, decorations and gear.
They plan to offer some consignment services for people who want to sell board games or cards as the business gets rolling.
Wearing a purple “Willy Wonka” frock coat with matching top hat, McKinley said they literally pooled their resources to stock the store.
“We co-mingled our collections and threw caution to the wind,” he said, gesturing to the display cases full of Magic cards. In addition to the individual cards, the store also sells new booster packs of Magic cards.
Leatherman added that it was in the cards from the start that they would join forces on a project like this.
"We have a lot of similarities," he said. "The whole time that we’ve known each other we’ve had this mutual trust and respect, from the get go."
Word is already spreading in the local Magic community, and fans are finding the store, even though its sign is not up yet. Leatherman and McKinley plan on hosting D&D and board game nights plus, of course, Magic tournaments.
The name of the store pays homage to the 1982 "Mazes & Monsters" movie, where Tom Hanks' character loses touch with reality and becomes obsessed with a role-playing game. He is always seeking "The Great Hall."