MATTOON -- The game store in downtown Mattoon has new owners who have changed the name to "The War Zone" and plan to expand the business.
Jarrick and Fran Honn purchased the game store, formerly known as "The End Zone," from owners Dave and Christy Easton, who started this store 14 years ago. The Honns had been running The War Zone game club and tournaments at the store in recent years.
During an interview on Wednesday, Jarrick Honn said he and his wife took the opportunity to purchase the store at 1622 Broadway Ave. from the Eastons when they decided to move. Jarrick Honn, who is an Army veteran, said role-playing games have been his hobby for a long time and now he is enjoying operating a game store.
"I love it. This is what I have wanted to do forever," Jarrick Honn said. He explained that the store originally opened as The End Zone with a focus on sports cards and memorabilia, but the focus shifted over the years to role-playing games. He said the new name reflects the store's focus and its War Zone game club.
Jarrick Honn said The War Zone buys, sells and trades components for general role-playing games, board games, card games, miniature games, hobby supplies, and more. The store handles special orders.
Fran Honn, who is an Air Force veteran, said The War Zone is an official store for several gaming brands, so it can obtain specialized products and has priority ordering. These brands include Bandai, Bushiroad, Games Workshop, Magic: The Gathering, Paizu, Pokemon, and Yugioh.
Some of The War Zone's other services include hosting air brush tutoring classes, offering commissioned painting for miniatures, and hosting tournaments. The store sells snacks and cold drinks and it welcomes game players bringing in takeout food, particularly from downtown restaurants.
"The whole community building concept is really important to us," Fran Honn said.
Fran Honn said the store offers a family friendly environment where parents and their children often play alongside each other. She added that their two daughters, 13-year-old Abygayle and 12-year-old Elizabeth, help out at the store.
Jarrick Honn said they plan to renovate the second floor of The War Zone building so that they will have space to host regional qualifying events.
The store continues to host The War Zone game club. Jarrick Honn said dues-paying members get priority on exclusive merchandise, have access to extended store hours for game playing, and can store gaming items there.
The War Zone is open 1-8 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday, 1-10 p.m. Friday, and noon-10 p.m. Saturday each week, and offers additional hours for club games and tournaments. More information is available by visiting The War Zone Mattoon page on Facebook or by calling 217-235-2960.