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"Great Hall Games (Austin, TX) closing its doors." Topic

26 Posts

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Waco Joe01 Nov 2016 11:02 a.m. PST

I just saw on Facebook that Great Hall is packing it in. This is a real end of an era for me. I've been frequenting their business for probably over thirty years. Sorry to see them go and I wish them well on whatever new ventures they undertake. link

KTravlos Supporting Member of TMP01 Nov 2016 11:19 a.m. PST


Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP01 Nov 2016 11:29 a.m. PST

Not good, not good!

VCarter Supporting Member of TMP01 Nov 2016 11:42 a.m. PST

Truly a world class shop.

I've only been there a few times and it will be missed.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian01 Nov 2016 12:19 p.m. PST

In my dealings with him, the new owner seemed rather confused. I'm sorry that it has come to this.

Personal logo TheWarStoreMan Sponsoring Member of TMP Inactive Member01 Nov 2016 12:33 p.m. PST

Was there a new owner? I thought it was the same people for a long time?

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian01 Nov 2016 1:45 p.m. PST

I believe the business changed hands in 2015.

14th NJ Vol Supporting Member of TMP01 Nov 2016 2:28 p.m. PST

Dang, I'm heading to MilleniumCon next week and was going to stop by Great Hall.

Gear Pilot01 Nov 2016 2:29 p.m. PST

Not a surprise, unfortunately. The new owner just didn't seem to be into the miniatures side of the business. I wonder if they didn't sell as well as the board games and other stuff he carried.

seldonH01 Nov 2016 3:48 p.m. PST

So sad :( … Kevin did a good job trying to keep the store up but there is a lot of local competition from bigger players. Of course GHG was the one keping the historical wargaming flame up.

Since I moved to Austin in 2005 this has been the place for wargaming for me…


Ivan DBA01 Nov 2016 4:59 p.m. PST

Sad news. I enjoyed many hours at the old location.

jowady01 Nov 2016 5:03 p.m. PST

I was afraid of this. They moved from a pretty visible location on Lamar to their new location on Burnet that didn't even have a permanent sign. When I was in last month they had very few minis, fewer by far than when I was in earlier this year and way fewer than before their move. It's too bad.

galvinm Inactive Member01 Nov 2016 5:41 p.m. PST

Shame to hear. Never been. Bought online from them for many years. Always great service and a very helpful staff.

Jeigheff Supporting Member of TMP01 Nov 2016 6:09 p.m. PST

Bad news.

I sincerely believe that the new owner made the best choices he could to keep GHG going. This included, as much as I hate to say this, not emphasizing historical miniatures sales and gaming space.

As an Austin gamer, I wish I could have given the new GHG more support than I did. But I don't think I could have made much of a difference. Things change.


DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP01 Nov 2016 6:28 p.m. PST

Loved the old store

So sorry to see it go

Flatland Hillbilly01 Nov 2016 8:58 p.m. PST

Sad to hear this – used to stop by when in Austin.

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP01 Nov 2016 9:22 p.m. PST

It's only been a year since the store changed ownership. I was concerned at the time that the new management didn't seem to have its act together, in many different ways, and I can't say I'm surprised by this news. GHG moved suddenly early this year, with so little warning that I didn't even realize that the last event I sponsored there would be the last. The new location was not visible to the general public, the new store was smaller than the old one and featured much less space for open gaming (so those groups went away and didn't return), there was less stock for sale, some of the new staff were surly and unwelcoming, new management was distant, special orders took forever to show up compared to before, the website and forum were neglected -- The one time I visited the new location (following an abrupt move early this year), it had a bad feel to it, and I sadly predicted hard times to come. The original owners put a lot of love into the store and subsidized it heavily with their time and energy. I was worried that when they had to let it go it would not receive the same level of attention or continue to be a hub for local gamers. Historical gamers are the worst affected, as we have no obvious alternative to turn to (the bigger Austin gets, the less it seems to offer, really). The other "gaming" stores are focused on fantasy and sci-fi and smaller boardgames and it's hard to find a host for historical minis except for our own homes. Back to the 1970s for us, I guess.

Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP02 Nov 2016 2:26 a.m. PST

It's always sad to lose a local store.

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP02 Nov 2016 3:27 a.m. PST

Sorry to hear this. Purchased online from them for many years and always received excellent service.

Lucius02 Nov 2016 5:09 a.m. PST

I'm sorry as well. Even though I live in the area, I only went once, about 3 months ago. With Austin traffic, it is a hard place to get to from the suburbs.

And with Austin's rent and property taxes, I can't imagine how they were making any money at all. I personally moved my business out of Austin 5 years ago to escape the same fate.

Jozis Tin Man Supporting Member of TMP02 Nov 2016 6:20 a.m. PST

Very sorry to hear this. I have not live in Austin for 10 years, but I was there when they opened and there when they moved to Lamar.

(This is Patrick for you old timer's by the way)

End of an era.

lugal hdan02 Nov 2016 6:46 a.m. PST

Definitely, Patrick. I remember first visiting GHG in the old Dobie Mall food court back in the early 90's.

My personal gaming habits have waxed and waned over the years, and my miniatures tastes always seem out of step with the rest of the Austin crowd, but GHG always managed to have something that someone in my family was interested in, and was definitely a vibrant center of board and miniatures gaming here in Austin.

Thanks for the decades of gaming support, GHG. Even though I was an infrequent patron, it's hard to imagine Austin with out you.

swammeyjoe04 Nov 2016 1:29 p.m. PST

So sad to hear. Been in Austin since 2011 and it was the first gaming shop I visited in town. Have to echo what everybody else said, the new location was not ideal at all.

Personal logo GuruDave Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member12 May 2017 12:23 p.m. PST

I started going to Great Hall Games when it was still in the Doby Hall on the UT campus. Robb and Beka were great folks. I lived in Round Rock for two years, and went there frequently. I kept going there after moving back to Minnesota, taking a break from business trips to Austin and spending my per diem at Great Hall. Sad to hear it closed.

Ottoathome14 May 2017 2:22 p.m. PST

We had a store here locally in Northwestern NJ. Nice store, did all the games, had miniatures, open tables to play, had model railroad and rc air craft etc., Great store for modelling supplies, Limited miniatures as best she culd.

It was in a great location public-wise and was smack dab in the center of things in the local town. I told the owner though when they started up to "be careful" The guy who rented the stores had a habit of jacking up the rent after three years. Sure enough, he quadrupled the rent after five years and they simply couldn't afford it. They moved to a much less desireable location and had a lot of trouble paying the bills. It seems this is standard practice. The owners can't do this to the big chains who pretty much will either ignore him or sic their corporate lawyers on him, but the small fry are fair game.

RobSmith23 May 2017 7:14 a.m. PST

Thanks for all the kind words, folks.

I wish we had been able to keep things as they were, but medical issues forced our hands. I had hoped selling it rather than liquidating would keep it going, but alas, it was not to be. We enjoyed having the store and meeting all the great gamers who passed through our portals or communicated online. We have memories that will last a lifetime and can feel satisfied that we contributed positively to the gaming community in Austin and beyond.

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