After explaining that a "meeple" is a human-shaped game piece from a German board game called Carcassonne (rather than what I imagined, which was more like a puppet from Labyrinth), Laura Schneider showed me around her new West Seattle shop, Meeples Games. The tour included a puffy leather "spouse chair" for waiting while a significant other peruses the retail area—the eclectic selection of games includes Bowling Zombies, Salmon Run, and Lewis & Clark—and the "Thunder Dome," where tournaments are held for games like Magic: The Gathering. Laura, a longtime software tester, relishes low-tech entertainment in her free time; this is why Meeples is all-analog.
Laura hopes for Meeples to be a community gathering place and plans to organize a weekly mah-jongg game with a nearby senior center. Laura is especially excited to create a space for young people—middle and high school students can be found in the Thunder Dome daily. Many games are available for in-store checkout. Her own 22-year-old son is an employee. The Meeples cafe serves local beers, sandwiches, and snacks, and my Brie, pesto, and apple panini with chips was simple, tasty, and satisfying, fit for a grown-up's lunch box. And Laura, who is originally from Texas, recommends the Texan-style chile con queso.