Atomic Gaming Cafe, 4747 State Highway 6, is inconspicuously placed between a Starbucks and a Star Cinema Grill in Missouri City. But the humble location has become a source of community for players from across Fort Bend County.
Johnathan Lindsley and his wife Naomi Lindsley opened Sweets in the Sky, a bakery, in June 2018. In response to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and a slate of cancellations wiping out potential clients for weddings, graduations and other catering events, the Lindsleys pivoted and converted Sweets in the Sky into Atomic Gaming Cafe.
Jonathan is a co-owner of Atomic Hobby Shop, a similar venue in Cypress.
On Saturdays and Mondays, Atomic Gaming Cafe hosts Digimon tournaments. Digimon is a competitive trading card game where players try to evolve their Digimon, or character, and try to defeat their opponent. The store hosts different tournaments or events each night, which are posted on a Google Calendar linked on its website as well as on the store’s Facebook page.
One of the most popular games at Atomic Gaming Cafe is Magic: The Gathering, and Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Dungeons & Dragons and Warhammer are some other common choices.
The entry fee for Digimon tournaments is $5, and registration typically begins at 6 p.m., and the first round starts at 7 p.m.
Games can range from anywhere from 6 to 14 players, depending on the number of participants. The top finishers split the pot of the entry fees and can redeem their share of the pot as store credit, which can be used to purchase any item at the store except for entry fees for events.
Abad Flores, who lives near Needville, said his friend Arthur Vallejo introduced him to the Digimon tournaments at Atomic Gaming.
“It’s a really great shop,” Flores said. “This is the shop that I come to the most. It's friendly people. And then it's mostly people that I already talk to and know. They started coming here because we've told them about it. The atmosphere is great. I love coming here.”
Flores also said he appreciates that Atomic Gaming has a great selection of digital cards, which some other similar stores may not.
Vallejo, a professor at the Wharton County Junior College branch in Richmond and a Rosenberg resident, said last year he and his 12-year-old nephew stumbled upon Atomic Gaming one day after seeing a Pokemon banner in the window. He and his nephew have been frequenting the store ever since, he said.
“It seems like it’s very family-oriented,” Vallejo said. “They treat everybody like family, so I really enjoy the place.”
Atomic Gaming Cafe is open from noon-9 p.m. daily.
For more information, visit atomicgamingcafe.com or call 281-969-7098.