The Chess Forum on 219 Thompson Street was founded in 1995 by Imad Khachan who hails from Lebanon. This shop is a wonderful remnant from a different kind of New York. In the back of the shop there are tables with board games, not just Chess but also Checkers and Backgammon. Everybody is welcome to hang out and play. Children play for free and lessons can be arranged. You will always find some regular players and some of them are quite the masters, fun to watch.
Quote from Imad: "The idea was not to just create a place of business only, but, as the name indicates, a forum for ideas, a place where people with similar or varied interests can meet to discuss and exchange their ideas or talk of what is current or of what is past over a game of chess and a soft drink. We offer tea, coffee, espresso, cappuccino and other cold soft drinks. Or you can bring with you a bottle of wine if you're in fair company and the mood is romantic."
Then there are the chess games for sale! Chess Forum sells everything from fantasy characters to hand carved sets from all over the world. Historical themed chess pieces from different eras crowd the old wooden display cases. To say it is mind boggling is a gross understatement.
Too bad that I am such a lousy chess player.......