If you’ve somehow missed all the news about the new board game/craft beer bar opening up in Kettering, I’m impressed. Not the good kind of impressed, though. You should really get out more, this place is awesome. I got a sneak peek a couple weeks back, and I can safely report that Andrew Sparks and Chrissy Cooper, owners of D20 and co-conspirators in the art of “turning (their) hobbies tax-deductible”, definitely know their stuff. I was hopelessly outclassed by Andrew’s knowledge of craft beer, coming from his wealth of experience in both drinking and selling it. With 20 taps serving 18 beers along with a mead and cider, there’s sure to be something that fits your taste. If you’re not sure what you want, talk to the very knowledgeable gentlemen behind the bar. They’ve each been working on their own nerd-specific cocktails, along with all the classics.
Don’t worry that the gaming half of the equation has been treated with less reverence, though. Upon asking the poor soul in charge of inventorying their massive libraries sitting at the bar, he knew they had at least 79 RPG books from various systems at that exact moment. And then, there’s the games. When I was there, they hadn’t finalized the full list yet, so they gave me a lowball estimate of 300 games. As you can see below, there’s plenty of variety.
As for tables, they have whatever you may need for your group. I was told that the three different table sizes were each chosen for particular reasons. The two-seaters are perfect for a Magic: The Gathering duel with plenty of space for Andrew’s own particular decks. As someone who’s played MTG on less-than-ideal tables many a time, I understand why this choice was important to him. The four-seaters are the perfect size for most board games, along with a drink and food for each player. And the 8-10 tops are for RPG campaigns (or Betrayal at House on the Hill, if you’re a masochist). Evidently, space at those tables are a hot commodity, so if you want to move your campaign to D20, you may want to stake a claim soon.
Speaking of food, D20 takes an interesting stance on providing it: they don’t. They’ve got small snack items like pretzels, chips, and even ramen, but they want to focus on drinks. You’re free to bring in outside food, and they’ve even worked out a deal with the Chinese restaurant right next door so you can have your food brought over without having to leave your seat. They’ve also worked out deals with local pizza places, so ask them about those if you’re interested. I’m personally thinking that board games and Cousin Vinny’s Tuesday Madness are going to make a perfect combo.
You’d be forgiven in thinking the bookshelves visible in the above photo were the game shelves. Those are actually holding the over 300 books available in their reading nook, ranging from popular manga to Lovecraftian works. It has couches and armchairs for the less-gaming inclined friends you might try dragging along.
There’s also no TVs at this bar, keeping the ambiance decidedly “pub-esque” which I’m sure will add something to anyone playing DND. Hell, there’s even torches on the wall above the entrance. Chrissy mentioned they may move into showing public domain sci-fi flicks on a projector in the future on certain days, but as for now, this bar is a screenless. So if anything I’ve mentioned appeals to you (and how could it not, really, there’s something for everyone), head on over to D20 tonight for their official first day of business. And tell them I sent you.
D20: A Bar With Characters is located at 2144 East Whipp Rd, Kettering, Ohio. D20 is an all-ages establishment from 11am to 8pm, at which point, people under 21 should be in bed anyway. They close at 1am. You can find them on Facebook for information as to beers on tap, planned events, updated hours, and more. Thanks to Andrew and Chrissy for putting up with extra guests during their week leading up to Beta Mode, it was much appreciated. Hot chocolate’s on the menu now, right?