Farewell, Oak & Shield

September 8, 2020

TL;DR: our Oak & Shield Gaming Pub has closed. Our Board Game Barrister locations at Mayfair Mall, North Shore, and South Milwaukee remain open.

All adventurers know in the back of their mind that their adventures will come to an end. And while we all dream that the gathering place for those adventurers will always be there – we also know that the gathering place itself is an adventure which will someday end. Today, the adventure that has been the Oak & Shield Gaming Pub comes to an end. It has been a true adventure, with highs, lows, and, in the end, a puzzle that we could not solve in time.

I had held out great hope that our efforts to create and promote our safe-as-possible physically-distant dining experience would be the key to that puzzle. It hasn’t been. Even after opening for in-person dining, the pub is losing money and sales are not increasing – indeed, sales have decreased ever-so-slightly. I’ve held off making this call for a long time so that I could preserve as many jobs as I could – and it is entirely possible that I’ve held off for so long that time will tell whether I have endangered jobs at the Board Game Barrister retail stores by allocating too much of our dwindling government funds towards the pub. But it is my responsibility to make the call and I can shirk it no longer. The time is now. This adventure is over. The Oak & Shield is closed.

To all of you – customers and staff alike – who filled this adventure with special memories, I thank you. I look forward to crossing paths with you again on whatever new adventures await.


Some housekeeping

Gift Certificates
If you have a gift certificate code from our online store, you can still use that code at our Board Game Barrister stores. It can be redeemed either from the online store or in-store at our Mayfair Mall and North Shore stores (as of this writing, South Milwaukee remains closed for in-person shopping). If you have an old paper Oak & Shield gift certificate, contact me directly with your gift certificate serial number and I’ll issue you a replacement online gift code – do not take the paper gift certificate to the stores, they will not be able to redeem it.

There are a few of you that selected the Oak & Shield as a pickup location for pre-ordered items.  We’ll contact you directly to determine either an alternate pickup location or to cancel the pre-order and issue a refund – your choice.

Gordon L.

Gordon, a.k.a. "the" Barrister, or simply "G", opened the first Board Game Barrister store in 2005 in a fit of delusion: that he could both finish up law school and start a retail business - one has worked out, the other less so. Gordon loves working in the toy industry, which is filled with wonderful people who love what they do; he loves working with his fellow Barristers; and he loves the community of people that has grown around the playing of games together at the Board Game Barrister stores. If Gordon were a Dungeons & Dragons character, he would be a lawful goody-two-shoes silicon wizard with a skills in perl and complex compound sentences. Gordon loves many games, but when forced to choose he went with China, Power Grid, Lost Cities, and Empire Builder.

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