CLINTON—Clinton native Andrew Moen is turning his passion into a business as he prepares to open EF Card Shop on Friday in downtown Clinton, a space he hopes will grow into a community space for all.

Village residents soon will have a new place to gather and play the popular fantasy card game Magic: The Gathering with Moen opening a brick-and-mortar shop at 207 Allen St. The shop will be open Fridays and Saturdays from 5:30—10 p.m.

Moen, a National Guardsman and local electrician, has played Magic since fourth grade, but recently began selling collector cards and decks to friends and those in the Stateline Area.

“I got back into it when the pandemic hit and it’s grown rapidly from there,” Moen said.

Individual Magic cards and complete decks will be sold at the store, along with all the accessories needed for gamers both novice and the seasoned player.

The game uses unique sets of cards and requires equal parts strategy and creativity. With Moen’s shop, he said he wanted to build a close-knit space that will grow into a community for players of all kinds.

“It’s a fun game that’s interactive with people you play with,” Moen said. “It’s super accessible and you can tailor it to how you want to play and there’s a collecting aspect of it that you can get these cool cards and show them off.”

Long-term plans for Moen include opening the shop to host Magic tournaments, with the possibility to expand to other games in the future.

Popularized in the 1990s, Magic was eclipsed by competing card games and the meteoric rise in online gaming, but the game has made a comeback in recent years. Thanks to the long history of the game, Magic now appeals to an intergenerational fanbase.

“Long-term players have lots of experience and sought-after sets of cards while new players are excited about learning the game, so a game room is the perfect opportunity to bring all types of players together,” Moen said.

Games of Magic can range from 20 minutes to 90 minutes or more depending on the specific format of each match, with Moen saying he values face-to-face interaction as opposed to the screentime of a computer or phone.

“People get enough screen time with tier electronic devices, and young people need a place to spend their free time,” Moen said. “A game shop offers the chance to share tips, have fun playing and to meet new friends.”

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