Now I must confess that for all it's charm the Dungeon was rather beat up looking. I think the carpet they had dated back from when the location was a bar. Down in the basement, where they ran games, you could see where pool sticks had been poked into the ceiling tiles. I don't even want to mention the rest room. While these images may have driven away some of the retail crowd they didn't faze my friends and I. We liked the fantasy and sci fi posters on the walls, the diorama of a dungeon delve (which mirrored the original blue book cover at the end), and glass counters.
Yes indeed, the Dungeon was a wonderful game store for thousands of reasons. Back in the early 80's it was not only a clearing house for TSR but had just about every game published. I was able to pick up tons of back issues of Dragon at the cover price (I think issue #4 was the earliest I bought). The Dungeon also carried games by different publishers ( I was introduced "Wooden Ships and Iron Men" along with "The Mechaniod Invasion"). I also discovered "Judges Guild" modules... not the same quality in presentation as a TSR product but very clever!
The staff at the Dungeon was fantastic too! I shall never forget Duck and Neil. These guys loved games and loved helping and talking about gaming. They taught me how to better paint lead figures using washes and dry bushing. I used to run into these guys at Gen Con when it was held in Milwaukee.
Once in awhile you could run into a celebrity at the Dungeon. Many TSR staffers would swing in for a visit!
I think it was about 1982 or 1983 when the Dungeon closed. I was working in Lake Geneva on the Gage Marine tour boats trying to earn enough money for college. On my way into work I noticed a sign selling everything at a -40% off! Most of the miniatures had already been sold but I did manage to grab a few items. I was fortunate that I lived only two blocks away from a game and hobby store in college so I could still get my "game fix" but sad that the local home-town store legend had closed.
The location of the Dungeon hobby store is now a fudge shop catering to the tourists (the fudge is real good!). Lake Geneva was without a game shop for awhile. Many FLGS have come and gone since the Dungeon in the Lake Geneva area. With TSR leaving the area I imagine the gamers are fewer too.
I have fond memories of the Dungeon Hobby store. It set the bench mark for FLGS in my mind.