Valhalla Board Game Café to open physical location at Campus No. 124

Published 4:24 pm Monday, March 11, 2024

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By DONALD MOTTERN | Staff Writer

PELHAM – Known for holding a number of board game nights and gaming events at a number of local businesses and coffee shops, the Valhalla Board Game Café is now setting its sights on the impending opening of its first brick-and-mortar location.

Owners Nick Hammett and Adam Valentine have worked to grow the brand and business since its original start as an event business concept in January 2020. They quickly grew a reputation and loyal following in that capacity through their presence at a number of bars, breweries and coffee shops across the Birmingham metro area, but were impeded early on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We had to stop during COVID-19 obviously,” Valentine said. “Luckily, we didn’t have a brick and mortar yet or much overhead, so we were able to survive.”

Thanks to their small size, Hammet and Valentine’s brand was able to persevere despite the business’s focus on close community events and gatherings that fell by the wayside during the pandemic.

Once public spaces and business re-opened the doors, the crew behind the Valhalla Board Game Café wasted no time in getting back into the fray. In recent years they have been a constant presence in the area and have held events in locations such as The Beer Hog, Good People Brewing Company, Tortugas Homemade Pizza, The Casual Pint and Waldo’s Chicken and Beer.

“As a small business, we strive to reach out and help other small businesses grow so that Birmingham and its surrounding areas can thrive as a community,” Valentine said.

With recovery from the pandemic’s worst days now on the move, the Valhalla Board Game Café is now looking to become what it was always intended to be.

“It was always a dream to eventually open up our own space to fully realize our vision of a Norse-themed tavern,” Valentine said. “Birmingham has been our home, and to be able to add our mark to the list of diverse businesses in the area was an accomplishment we always hoped to achieve.”

That dream is now on the cusp of becoming a reality now that the crew has procured a space at Campus No. 124, the former site of Pelham’s Valley Elementary School and current host of businesses like The Beer Hog.

Now in that location, the crew at Valhalla Board Game Café have contracted Elledge Construction in efforts to transform the space into a Viking-themed gathering space fitting their theme. In recent posts to social media, Valentine confirmed that demolition activities were completed on the space on Wednesday, March 6 and that new construction on the space had begun.

“Our priorities are camaraderie, fun and food,” Valentine said. “We endeavor to be a place where people can unplug and get lost in games and adventure opposed to getting lost in social media.”

According the Valentine, the physical location will have a focus on five major points:

  •  Food – Sandwiches charcuterie boards and salads will be provided to customers and guests.
  •  Coffee – Locally roasted coffee will be served and sourced through Adventurers Coffee Company, a local coffee brand located in Calera.
  •  Drinks – Beer, wine and mead are planned to be offered and sourced from local meaderies in Alabama.
  •  3D printing – The business will offer on-site and timely 3D printing services
  •  Games – A large library of games will be available to customers for rent while they are in the space and for purchase.

“Valhalla is not just a tavern with tables,” read the business’s website. “If you find yourself enjoying your game, you can purchase it on the spot. Valhalla Board Game Café will have a large inventory of games ready for you to try and buy. If you’ve paid to play, that price will be deducted from the cost of the game if you decide to take it home.”

Unlike the model they have operated under in the past, Valentine also assures all those who are interested that the business will not merely be for after-work events only.

“We will not be an evening only business, Valentine said. “We will be open during the day hours to meet the needs of coffee connoisseurs and lunch meetings (as well).”

While not offering a definite date, current projections place the Valhalla Board Game Café on course to open its gates sometime this summer, with some projections detailing late June or early July as prospective dates.