New game store opens in place of longtime London hobby store

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Imperial Hobbies has given way to the Mana Lounge in downtown London.

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The London game store, which was a paradise for board game and leisure enthusiasts, has closed as owner Dave Carnie retired after 30 years in business.

But its site at 256 Dundas St. Mana Lounge is slated to open in several months after the space renovations. Video game maker Tiny Titan Studios will also be moving to the two floors above the store.

“I can never be too busy and I love being an entrepreneur and growing businesses,” said Jeff Evans, owner of Mana Lounge and Tiny Titans.

Evans operated both businesses at 242 Dundas St., before purchasing 256 Dundas.

“I played Magic the Gathering (a collectible and now digitally collectible card game created by Richard Garfield) in the 1990s and got back to it in 2019 and opened the first store. I thought, “Why not expand it into a full store? “”

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Evans has operated Mana Lounge as a part-time game store at 242 Dundas since 2019, focusing its business on Magic the Gathering.

Dave Carnie owns and operates Imperial Hobbies and Games Inc. at 256 Dundas St. in downtown London.

“It was going very well until COVID. It was exciting, ”Evans said of operating the show.

Mana Lounge will be a full-time retail operation in his new home, he said.

“It suits both of my businesses perfectly,” Evans said of the new home.

Like Imperial Hobbies, Mana Lounge will specialize in games such as Warhammer, Dungeons and Dragons, Pokemon, Yugio, and Magic the Gathering, he said.

Carnie opened Imperial Hobbies in 1999 on Horton Street and the business moved to several locations before moving to Dundas Street in 2006.

“I hope he’s doing very well. I don’t have the energy to keep doing it. It’s time for me to retire, ”he said.

Carnie plans to spend more time at his cottage in the Muskoka region in retirement and be more active in the social “meet up” groups, of which he is a member.

“I can’t wait to be there. There are a lot of things I want to do,” Carnie said. “I’ll also be going to the Mana Lounge. I’ll be a client.