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Board game lounge to open downtown

Courtesy of Coty Giannelli
The soon-to-be Board and Bevy is located at 141 E. Summit St.

After graduating from Kent State in 2014, husband and wife duo Coty Giannelli and Hayley Bennett decided to bring their love for board games to downtown with a new business.

Giannelli and Bennett are the proprietors of an upcoming board game lounge, Board and Bevy. The pair expects to open the spot in the spring of 2024. 

“I always wanted to own a business and work for myself, and Coty always had a passion for board games,” Bennett said. “We wanted to fulfill both those dreams.”

Board and Bevy was the combination of the couple’s collective dreams, a love for games and a need for a fresh space in Kent, Bennett said. Bringing all three aspects together, the couple set out to design what they call “a board game lounge that caters to all ages and sobrieties.”

Inside the Board and Bevy location in downtown Kent. (Courtesy of Coty Giannelli)

“We expect to have a lot of normal play days – you would pay a table fee and have access to our library of games, which is about 200 or so,” Giannelli said. “Bars aren’t necessarily all ages. We want to take it a step further– we’ll have a great selection of sodas, kombuchas, and a signature mocktail list along with ‘Sober Sundays’ where we won’t serve alcohol, and you can enjoy a mocktail or a soda flight while having a bite to eat.”

As parents, the couple noticed a lack of family options in Kent, so they said they wanted to create a spot welcoming for all ages.

“It’s nice to be able to go and spend some time together with your kids and have them be fully entertained so you actually get to stay there a little while,” Bennett said. 

Finding the right spot

Being Kent alumni, the couple said they knew they wanted their businesses to be downtown. After searching, they found their spot at 141 E. Summit St. in a 100-year-old building slated for demolition.

“I fell in love with this building – it looked like a castle,” Bennett said. 

Though its appearance was striking, Bennett said, there was a lot of work to be done to get it ready for the public.

“Because they thought the building was going to get torn down, it didn’t get taken care of as consistently as it would have if they were going to rent it out,” she said. “Everything needed a lot more effort because it had been sealed up and ‘left for dead.’”

The new light fixtures added to the soon-to-be Board and Bevy location in Kent. (Courtesy of Coty Giannelli)

The couple said they have a commitment to restoring and reusing as much of the original building as they could, including the glass, front door and more – but the task hasn’t been all fun and games.

“We paid a good chunk of money to get the original hardwood floor fixed from when it was a grocery store, and then the flooding happened,” Bennett said.

Flooding in the building left the couple with a lot more work to complete than before, but they said they still remained positive and focused on what was important: moving forward.

“We’re keeping our eyes on the prize,” Bennett said. “Once it’s all said and done it’s going to be amazing.”

Patrick Creedon is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected].

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  • R

    RandyDec 16, 2023 at 1:39 am

    I have seen the place transform from the beginning until recently and they have put the sweat equity in,not just reach for the check book. Very hands on . A great idea ,in a great space,and great people with a genuine passion for what they’re doing. It can’t fail