Pawn and Pint board game cafe opens in Kansas City Crossroads

After eight months or more of planning, fund-raising and remodeling, Kansas City saw the opening a pub-style game board cafe — the sort that’s delighted the brainy in places like Omaha and Toronto.

Pawn and Pint (sans the beer, for now) opened its doors Saturday morning on the southwest edge of the Crossroads.

“We’re here. We’re ready,” said an eager Edward Schmalz, who co-owns the place at 221 Southwest Boulevard with Jonathan Steel. “We’ve got more work to do, but we’re open for business.”

For now, the shop sells snacks and some non-alcoholic drinks — and access to play some 600 board games. In two or three months, Schmalz said, he hopes to have a kitchen completed and a liquor license.

In the meantime, customers pay a $5 cover for a buffet of sit-down competition, ranging from chess to Risk to Dungeons & Dragons.

The shop’s soft opening on Saturday began with an Indian summer breeze wafting through the front door while Schmalz’s father, Patrick swept the floor and the two tended to last minute details.

Edward Schmalz seemed unconcerned that there wasn’t a line at his 11 a.m. opening time. The trend feels big enough elsewhere, and the owners rallied nearly $19,000 in a Kickstarter campaign where backers purchased advanced memberships — a pass on the daily cover — and naming rights to game nooks.

“It’s a place to come play games with your friends,” Schmalz said. “And we’re here to teach you games if you want. We’re excited.”

Scott Canon: 816-234-4754, @ScottCanon