Unraveling the Magic inside The Wizard’s Chest

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Posted Mon, Mar 12, 2018

Matthew Lescroart (left) and Spencer Jordan (right) enjoy a local, deck-building game called “Clank” on Feb. 11. [Photo: Kavann Tok]

DENVER — The Wizard’s Chest has been around since 1983, an iconic niche shop in Denver. Housed within a purple fortress inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien’s middle earth, one may find a wide array of treasures within the chest, everything from elaborate masks, costumes, magic tricks, children’s toys, novelty items, classic board games, exotic chess sets, miniatures and role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons, to the popular card game known as Magic: The Gathering.

Manager and MSU Denver alumni Matt Greer said, “If you tell someone you work here and if they’ve never been in here, you don’t really know where to begin. The best thing to say is, we have a lot of stuff here that you won’t find anywhere else.”

“The Wizard’s Chest is a very special place. I used to shop here when I was a little kid. I used to get my Halloween costumes here. I would come in when I was so young that I was afraid to go into where all the Halloween parts were.” –Matt Greer [Photo: Kavann Tok]

The Wizard’s Chest contains two levels of fun, the upper level being more of a novelty store dedicated to costumes, masks and makeup of all sorts. Working the magic counter is Doug Russell who comes in on the weekends to perform magic tricks. He has been working at The Wizard’s Chest for about 18 years, and said it is a place for people who want to do makeup, play a board game, learn how to juggle and in general, do something out of the mainstream.

“The idea is that a beginning magician can come in and learn more,” Russell said. “If you have what feels to you to be an unusual interest or hobby, this is a safe place to come and find other people who have that same interest.”

“You have to use your mind in order to think, because if you don’t, you’ll blow the trick and you’re going to lose the game.” — Steve Bottoms on Magic, The Gathering [Photo: Kavann Tok]

The lower level caters to gamers of all types who have frequented these battlegrounds often. There are shelves filled with every game imaginable, where visitors can not only purchase a box fresh off the shelf but immediately start playing it.

“You can come in with some friends and just take a game,” Greer said, “go sit in the game room and play it. That’s what I really like is learning a new game.”

Originally an 8,000 square foot building in Cherry Creek was relocated in 2015. The new building is 16,000 square feet with a big, open space, high ceiling and brick walls, which used to be a car dealership and warehouse.

“I’m an assistant manager at The Wizard’s Chest, going on seven years. I really love the atmosphere. Our staff is phenomenal, and then just the range of products we sell. There’s not a lot of stores that have our niches.” — Joe Carrasco [Photo: Kavann Tok]

“It’s kind of creepy that way,” Greer said. “Our old store looked like a castle, but it was kind of a more retail space. This actually feels like a castle.”

Assistant manager Joe Carrasco runs most of the Magic: The Gathering events, where participants can play in tournaments. “There’s something for everyone, just the nerd-dom, like how geeky you can be in the store. It’s definitely a one-of-a-kind of place.”

Who knows how many miniature battles, card duels and spaceship wars have ensued at The Wizard’s Chest over the years? Gamers in the Denver metropolitan area certainly wouldn’t want to miss out on the action of this one-of-a-kind gaming experience.

If you go:

Address: 451 N. Broadway, Denver, CO 80203
Phone: 303-321-4304
Business hours:
Mon-Sat: 10am-7pm
Sunday: 10am-5:30pm
Extended hours in December

Watch Tok’s video coverage of The Wizard’s Chest:

For more information visit: The Wizard’s Chest

Kavann Tok

About Kavann Tok

Kavann Tok is a freelance Denver-area journalist. Website: https://issuu.com/kavanntok

View all posts by Kavann Tok

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