Card Kingdom in Ballard is Now Mox Boarding House

Hallie Santo Blog

Card Kingdom in Ballard is Now Mox Boarding House
Celebrated local game store renames its original Ballard storefront

SEATTLE, WA, May 1, 2017 – Nearly six years after opening its doors on Leary Way in Ballard, Card Kingdom and Café Mox – a gathering place for Seattle gamers of all stripes – is getting a new name. Starting this spring, the acclaimed game store and restaurant will bear the same name as the company’s Bellevue outpost: Mox Boarding House.

Card Kingdom began as an online Magic: The Gathering trading card retailer in 1999, and the e-commerce business is still flourishing almost 20 years later. The Ballard storefront, opened in 2011, became a mecca for Magic players in Seattle and beyond, while its attached restaurant, Café Mox, provided an atmosphere for non-gamers to meet up with friends and maybe even explore a new hobby.

“I’ve tried really hard to make the store accessible to everybody…and I think that’s one thing we’ve done successfully over the years,” said Damon Morris, co-owner and business developer for Card Kingdom and Mox Boarding House. “You could have a Magic player and a Settlers of Catan player in the café at the same time, and it works.”

Morris and his brother John hoped to capture the broad appeal of board games when they chose a name for their second retail store in 2014. While Card Kingdom had earned name recognition in the gaming community, newcomers occasionally expressed surprise when they learned that the Morris brothers weren’t in the greeting card business.

“We’ve always struggled with the name ‘Card Kingdom’ since we started doing board games,” Damon admitted. “We wanted a name that was more evocative…so we came up with ‘Mox Boarding House.’”

The Morrises have a strong attachment to the word “Mox,” a special gem from the Magic: The Gathering storyline. The reference was obscure enough that locals wouldn’t label Café Mox a “nerd bar,” and it was a fun Easter egg for Magic fans. No word better captured the company’s commitment to serving gamers and non-gamers alike. “Mox Boarding House,” therefore, was the ultimate third place: a community space that could become a customer’s second home.

In renaming the Ballard store, Damon Morris hopes to preserve the spirit of Café Mox while alleviating customer confusion. (“A lot of people believed the café was owned by somebody else because it had a different name than the retail store,” he said.) Now, all the Morris brothers’ game stores and restaurants will be unquestionably linked, and customers can expect the same games, food, and community at each location. The Card Kingdom name will only apply to the online Magic: The Gathering store, still going strong after eighteen years.

Card Kingdom will be christened Mox Boarding House at the beginning of May, and both stores will be hosting a Customer Appreciation Day on Friday, May 5 to thank their loyal clientele for supporting the business as it grows. Customers at both locations will receive a free Mox Boarding House tote bag while supplies last, and Ballard patrons can enjoy cupcakes provided by the nearby Cupcake Royale bakery.

For more information about Mox Boarding House, visit moxboardinghouse.com.

About Mox Boarding House: Mox Boarding House is a local game store like no other. With inviting full-service restaurants, unparalleled game selection, and excellent customer service, Mox Boarding House’s two locations provide the perfect atmosphere for your next game night. Visit us in Ballard and Bellevue, or online at moxboardinghouse.com.