New Lincoln Gaming Cafe Owner Combines Work and Play | Game

Game Mana, 1.21

Griffin Campbell, 14, (from left) Gareth Campbell, 11, Joshua Campbell and Jeb Trine play a board game at the Mana Games on January 14.

JUSTIN WAN, Journal Star

JENNA THOMPSON Lincoln Magazine Star

On a winter Friday in Haymarket, families escape the cold and gather around tables inside the historic Creamery building with coffee and hot chocolate in hand. Each group leans towards a different board game, teasing, cheering and laughing – all emotions associated with a lively family game night.

Behind them is a maze of bookshelves filled with games. Their selections range from dominoes to quizzes. There are games about cats, cryptids, and Jane Austen.

Mana Games, a cafe open at 701 P St. as of the beginning of this month, boasts a collection of over 800 games and is continuing to grow.

Its owner, Sam Volkmer and Alma Cerretta, may have only recently opened the cafe to the public, but Mana Games has been in business since 2018, when they started hosting game nights at Cosmic Eye Brewing. Friends of 15 Years begin to build loyalty in Lincoln through their weekly events. They finally feel ready to move to a permanent space.

In September, the couple launched a Kickstarter campaign to make their dreams come true. By offering membershipmerchandise and even had the chance to be part of a mural inside the store, the campaign raised more than $21,000.

The store opening on January 8 feels like a win.

“We had a lot of people here that day,” Cerretta said. “It’s really great.”

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