Sully's Games family

April and Matt Sullivan stand in front of their store, Sully’s Games, with their daughter, Elizabeth.

A place to enjoy board games emerges along Louisiana’s downtown corridor

LOUISIANA—The idea was simple: open a safe place for young people and families to go and spend time with each other playing board games or cards. There are no blinking lights or headsets or the need for computer screens.

What you’ll find inside Sully’s Games at 412 Georgia Street is a whole bookshelf full of board games, decks of cards and some snacks to keep you fueled up as you let your imagination and cognitive skills help you through games of Dungeons and Dragons, Magic the Gathering or even Monopoly.

Not sure they have a game you might enjoy, call April or Matt Sullivan at 573-253-6166 to find out what they do have available. Or reach out to them through their Facebook page.

April said they have about 100 different games people can play. Matt added that they are looking to expand their offerings as popularity in the little shop expands.

April, who is originally from Bowling Green, said she had moved away from the area for about 15 years before moving back about three years ago. On their 10th wedding anniversary, she noted, she and Matt traveled to Branson, Mo.

On the recommendation of friends, they stopped in at the Branson Board Game Café.

“It was just such a neat environment,” she said. Because it evoked such a good feeling in them, she added, April and Matt said they continued to talk about the idea for months.

“Pike County needs something (like this),” April said, “because there’s not a lot of stuff to do around here for kids and families.”

Growing up, she remembered all the fun she and her family had with board games. And when she and Matt started their own family that tradition continued.

“That was one of my favorite memories as a kid,” she added. “I have a pretty big extended family and we would all get together for board game nights. And we continued that into my adult life, getting together with friends for games.

She said Sully’s Games offers the opportunity for people to come play games that they don’t have to see if they like them.

“There’s a wide variety to choose from, so you don’t have to spend a lot of money on games,” April said.

It’s been a bit of a slow start since they opened their door in early October. They are open Thursdays and Fridays from 4 to 10 p.m. and Saturdays from 2 to 10 p.m. So far, they have been getting three to four people a night. Their biggest turnout was about seven people.

But she’s hoping more people will take advantage of what they’re offering. There is a cost to play the shop’s games. It’s $5 per person, with a $20 cap for families. With groups of five or more, it’s just $4 per person. But if you have your own cards or board game you want to play, use of the shop is free, April explained.

And while the shop is open, either she or Matt will be in there to help people learn how to play the various games.

The couple is making an effort to be more involved in the community in hopes of spreading the word about the shop and its family friendly environment.

“This is a safe place to come, where you don’t have to worry about where you’re sending your kids,” she said. “We really want to promote the community,” she added.

In addition to the board games, she noted, they have a D&D group that’s starting and people are coming in to play Magic the Gathering. They are even hosting tournaments. They held a Magic the Gathering Commander Tournament this past Saturday, and a Yahtzee tournament is scheduled for later this month.

“We’re going to have a ladies Bunco night, too,” she added. “We want people to know that we’re not just offering this to one demographic.

“We’re available for private groups or birthday parties,” she said. “We’re also going to have a home-schooled group (of children) come in and have a game day. We also have a scouting organization that’s going to have a game night.”

They are looking add new games all the time, and they do take suggestions.

At some point in the future, April said they would like to sell new board games. Currently, they are in talks with distributors. They are also interested in hosting more events.

Matt works in IT and April was a receptionist at a mechanic’s shop.

“We want this to be a place in the community where families can come and have fun,” Matt added.

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