Santa Maria Sun / Biz Brief
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 15
Spotlight on: BattlegroundJoshua Chavez, owner
A new battleground has been set in Santa Maria, where wizards attack one another with spells and vicious creatures. Luckily, all the action takes place on a small table covered with a black cloth and cards.
The arena is called Battleground, and it’s at the Town Center West shopping center next to Big 5. Joshua Chavez, 26, a Santa Maria native, moved back to town after deciding to put his education in software engineering on hold. He wanted to pursue his idea of starting a business based on his passion for the card game Magic: the Gathering.
“I realized getting a job that paid a whole lot of money wasn’t something I wanted from my life,” Chavez said. “I wanted to do something I love, and I love to play Magic. I’m just taking a chance at making a profit by doing what I love.”
His passion for the game can be felt by the way he speaks about it, and can be seen in how he’s set up his business, which he runs with his wife. Battleground has only been open since June 2, but two steps into the door and you’re engulfed in the world of Magic. Inside, to the left, are three glass display cases equipped with conveyer belts, moving at a slow and elegant pace, showcasing Chavez’s collection of his most rare and sought-after cards.
Across from the display, on the other side of the room, is a huge mural depicting a battle in the Magic world, with wizards and dragons. It takes up the entire wall, from floor to ceiling. The mural was painted by an artist out of Santa Barbara and is a representation of what goes on in the imaginations of players as they play.
In the middle of it all is the battleground. Players of different ages populate the floor. Some smile and chat it up; others are cold and calculating while they methodically plot their next move. Tournaments take place every day and range in price depending on the style of the tournament. Players battle it out in 50-minute rounds, and to the winner goes the prize, the blood of it all: booster packs.
“The best part of Magic is playing, trading cards, and opening booster packs,” Chavez said.
The players’ decks evolve from their booster packs, as do their games and strategies. At Battlegrounds, you can trade cards with Chavez—or, if your card is worthy enough, he’ll buy it for store credit. You can use store credit to buy individual cards or booster packs, to enter tournaments, or to buy fuel for endurance in the form of candy bars or chips. There’s also water or soda with which to guzzle it all down. You can also buy these refreshments with Earth money for 75 cents each.
“My goal is to have people hang out here; I want them to feel comfortable,” Chavez explained. “I want people to build relationships here.”
According to Chavez, Battleground is the only exclusive Magic: the Gathering place north from Santa Barbara and south of Monterey Bay.
“Some people are very competitive and want to practice before a pro tour, so it’s hard for them to find a Magic place, but this place makes it easy. When you walk in the door, it’s guaranteed,” Chavez said. “If you play Magic, this is where you want to be.”
Battleground is open seven days a week from 3 p.m. to midnight. Chavez can officially sanction matches since he’s a licensed member of Wizards of the Coast.
For those curious about learning the game of Magic, Chavez offers free instruction on how to play. Schedule an appointment by calling 720-2450.
• Brothers Matt and Jeff Nichols, owners and chefs of the new Sides Hardware and Shoes restaurant in Los Olivos and the former Brothers Restaurant at Mattei’s Tavern, announced the acquisition of the Red Barn Steak House in Santa Ynez.
According to the Nichols brothers, remodeling has already started on the future Brothers Restaurant at the Red Barn. They anticipate an opening in early fall as they redesign the interior and finalize menus inspired by the cooking they’ve become known for after 16 years in Santa Barbara County.
Red Barn Steak House is at 3539 Sagunto St. in Santa Ynez. Developments and progress on the new venture will be announced on the Brothers Restaurant website, Facebook, and Twitter feeds.
For more information, visit brothersrestaurant.com, friend Sides Hardware and Shoes on Facebook, or follow the brothers on Twitter at @brothersresto.
Intern Jason Banania wrote this week’s Biz Spotlight. Highlights were written and compiled by Staff Writer Jeremy Thomas. Information should be sent to the Sun via fax, e-mail, or mail.
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