After a year of serving the city’s gamers in Station North, followed by an ongoing hiatus after its lease expired in April, No Land Beyond is picking back up with a bigger vision in Old Goucher this fall.
The operators of the community gaming space and store signed a lease last week at 2125 Maryland Avenue, about five blocks from where they began in April 2018.
Co-founder Mark Brown said they’ll aim to take advantage of a larger two-floor layout with bars on both levels, a dedicated area for small events and musical performances in the basement, and gamer gatherings, a game library and store on the first floor. Side A Photography will share the 800-square-foot lower floor and help out with events, including by hosting photo booths.
Brown said the old spot across from the Parkway Theatre had “more of a clubhouse kind of vibe” with one multi-purpose room, whereas the new one will be larger and with more rooms dedicated for specific uses.
And there will be booze for sale. The basement bar will be more minimalist, while the main one will have seating for eight plus standing room. No Land Beyond’s operators are working to purchase an unclaimed liquor license, which Old Goucher Community Association president Kelly Cross says was part of a batch created via state legislation in 2017.
For the layout the business is working with East Wing Architects, which designed fellow Old Goucher newcomer Sophomore Coffee nearby. The neighborhood has seen a handful of other recent additions in beer and wine garden Fadensonnen, the cafe Larder and, soon, gin bar Dutch Courage.
Cross said he’s “thrilled” to have No Land Beyond join the fray, adding a new amenity and gathering spot in Old Goucher.
“We feel pretty good about that area and want to be part of making that into a really nice community, a new arts and entertainment kind of area,” said Brown, who’s also a local video artist and DJ.
Co-operator Mike Cohn said they hope to retain the sense of fellowship from the original space, which hosted regular niche events like Magic: The Gathering games and ongoing Dungeons and Dragons campaigns, while also making it “a little more open to the wider community.” As an example, No Land Beyond will serve as the new spot for Brews and Boardgames, a well-attended monthly series that The Windup Space hosted for years before its closure this past June.
They’ll also continue to offer locally made and more mass-produced games for sale in the retail section, and will carry on hosting local game illustrators and designers for talks and play-testing.
Brown said he hasn’t seen many other game stores offer players that level of access to game creators: “We want to highlight that aspect, the art of creation of the game.”
No Land Beyond will put on pop-up events to spread the word before opening sometime in the fall. Ottobar, Joe Squared and the Abell Street Fair are already confirmed venues, and the operators are in talks with others.
Cohn said it was “surprising and humbling” that the crowd-funded business’ financial supporters kept donating through Patreon even during the months after the original Station North location shut down.
“We know there’s a demand” for such a space, he said. “We’re counting on it, and we really believe in the model. Community gaming space is something that we’ve all wanted, and that’s the reason we jumped into this fully and completely.”
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