After a pandemic delay, Wilson Lin opens Beer for the Meeples this week. The bar combines beer and board games. Photos by Ben Hensley
Written by Gabriel Dillard
A new bar debuting at the Crossroads Shopping Center on Friday hopes to bring a different spin to local nightlife.
Wilson Lin, 38, has been planning Beer for the Meeples since 2018. After pandemic delays, it opens this week at 50 W. Bullard Ave. Space 112, near Minnewawa Avenue in Clovis with snacks, local beers on tap and something unique to the bar scene: board games.
“Well, I love board games and I love beer, so obviously the two should mix,” said Lin, a native of Huntington Beach.
And what’s a meeple, you might ask? “A small figure used as a playing piece in certain board games, having a stylized human for,” according to the Oxford Dictionary.
After 10 years working in the local restaurant service industry, Lin said he has yet to see a bar that will offer what Beer for the Meeples will — the ability to enjoy local craft beer and board games.
The beer menu will consist of a variety of options.
“We’re definitely going to be getting beers from local breweries like Crow and Wolf, House of Pendragon and Tactical Ops,” he said, adding that they will also be offering snack foods like cheesecake and chocolate cake at the bar. Eventually, Lin hopes to offer creme brulee.
For customers looking for entertainment along with a cold brew, Beer for the Meeples offers a wide variety of board games for almost all interests — from classics to new releases.
“We have over 400 board games,” he said.
The bar also plans to host Dungeons and Dragons and other roleplaying games on Tuesday nights sometime in the future.
Despite being delayed by the pandemic, Lin said opening now is actually more beneficial than had he opted to open during the pandemic, citing the numerous businesses that attempted it and failed shortly after due to staffing issues, restrictions due to state mandates and even development issues.
“The landlord had to do some work before I could move in,” he said, adding that he was willing to give them extra time to work on the space during the pandemic.
He also added that several other businesses were in the process of moving into the Crossroads Shopping Center, including their neighbor Teppan Bowl, which opened during the pandemic.
Lin said that he plans to staff the bar primarily with college-aged students, adding that while they are currently fully staffed, applicants are always welcome to drop off a resume to apply for a position.
Lin says the bar has already garnered attention from local residents.
“While I’ve been making the place, people have been coming by seeing what’s going on; people are interested,” he said.
Beer for the Meeples is scheduled to open for business on Friday, May 13.