Where to Play and Meet New People?

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Ten or twenty years ago we would play in coffee houses or hobby stores. It was nice and people that were interested in the games might listen or eventually join. I'm in Oakland County, Michigan, and what few hobby stores that are left in the area don't have much room on Friday nights (the only one most of us can play) due to Magic filling the place. The non-Starbucks coffee shops also seem to have closed down. The library closes at 9pm. While we can play at my house, we want some new blood. Meetup.com for our area has a good number, but they all have their own games or can't do Friday evening.


Where besides a bar do people hang out and socialize on Friday evenings where you can bring books and dice?  
First question: is Friday evening the only time you can play?

Obviously, in your area, most potential players are either already playing on Friday night, or are otherwise busy doing non-gaming social activities.

As to where you can play, you've already mentioned the places where people meet to play - local gaming store, or someone's home.

 

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Barnes and Nobles also has a corporate policy that makes their managers try to get meetups in their store once a month.  They can give you free space (generally in the cafe) with tables and comfortable chairs.  So check out a book store.

We have also played in a public library before as well as in the game room at a local college.  If you are a college student, or about that age you can get away with that pretty easy.  I know the library closes early, but thems the brakes.

The only people I know in MI are on the other side of the state sadly.  But good luck!

I noticed you said something about Meetup, but there are also the forums here, penandpapergames and obsidianportal to consider. 
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Ten or twenty years ago we would play in coffee houses or hobby stores. It was nice and people that were interested in the games might listen or eventually join. I'm in Oakland County, Michigan, and what few hobby stores that are left in the area don't have much room on Friday nights (the only one most of us can play) due to Magic filling the place. The non-Starbucks coffee shops also seem to have closed down. The library closes at 9pm. While we can play at my house, we want some new blood. Meetup.com for our area has a good number, but they all have their own games or can't do Friday evening.


Where besides a bar do people hang out and socialize on Friday evenings where you can bring books and dice?  


First, here's a list I found with 5 seconds of looking for hobby shops.  Pick one and explain that you need a table.  Tell them that the other shops are doing mtg and leave no place for your group otherwise.
You will have to play at someone's house.  There are other places and areas, but since you have a remake about 9p.m., they wouldn't work.

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All of the above, plus Meetup.com. I'm still gaming with people (and people who knew the people) that I met through Meetup six or seven years ago.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

Some university libraries close the circulation desk, but allow people to remain in the building. At my school, they announce the desk is closing on the PA system, but they don't come around to kick you out (it's probably too large, plus it's 7 floors). They do shut off lights on upper levels, but the main level is mostly still lit, because they know students stay to study late. The caveat is once you leave, the doors lock behind you and you can't get back in. Alternatively, again if you live near a university, the student center pretty well never closes because it's just a building. The services will close, but there are usually still areas where you can sit at tables and stuff and not worry about getting kicked out. You usually don't have to be a student to be in there. (My school never checked, and we have non-students around all the time because it's in the city, there's a movie theatre in the student centre, and a community radio station, and some buildings are also joined to a shopping mall)

The hobby shop near me has a large space for gaming, but they have their own schedule that doesn't include d&d. They have Warhammer 40k nights, MTG, other CCG nights, but no d&d as of yet. But if you go in often and get friendly with the employees, I'm sure they could help you out and give you at least one table, or work it into their schedule if enough people ask for it. You might want to post a flyer in the store about it. You probably just have to show them that there are enough people interested in playing and they'll give you time/space to play. 
I don't know of any of the places Mastercliff listed, and am fairly certain the 3 closest to me don't exist, but will try to check this weekend to be sure. Holcomb's Knowplace is within walking distance and in an area we frequent so it is strange I've never even heard of it. The only college conveniently located is OCC Royal Oak, and I know you have to be a student, but since I often am that is a good backup plan that I had forgotten about. I know the local Barnes and Noble tried before when 4th first came out so that may also still be possible.

What I'm looking for is not so much a place to play or other players for my game, but an area where such people can gather fairly regularly, and not so far that it feels like a special trip. I guess I have been spoiled by past experiences. I lived by Gotham City Cafe which had all types of games going on, and had a class at OCC Auburn Hills so going across the street to OU and their gaming group was easy. I am looking for that kind of environment, which does not seem as commonplace as it used to be. Something a little cozier/more comfortable/better food/drinks, and more sociable than Blue Dragon had.  
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