The Gathering Scene brings gaming to Safford’s Downtown

From left, Ron and Candy Green, the onwers of Candy's Ice Cream Parlor in Safford, shake hands with the building's new tenants, David Walter, Joline Rich and Frank Rich, owners of The Gathering Scene. The Gathering Scene will have its grand opening June 4. - David Bell Photo/Gila Valley Central

SAFFORD — Gila Valley gamers will soon have a new home on Main Street.

The Gathering Scene, with locations in Tucson and Sierra Vista, has announced plans for a third location in Safford, taking over the former Candy’s Ice Cream Parlor in Safford, with the grand opening June 4.

“We’re going to keep the look exactly the same. We do have to make some changes due to some items that we do need to put in for health code and stuff like that, that don’t fit, but other than that, it’s going to look exactly the same; it’s going to have the same exact feel right up to the point — Frank and I already talked about it — we’re going to leave the original Candy’s sign up on the front of the door,” said David Walter.

Walter, along with partners Frank and Joline Rich, said their business model is to offer a place for all ages to spend time enjoying themselves. The plan is to offer mocktails — non-alcoholic beverages — and coffee, light snacks, live entertainment and be the place for gamers, whether it’s traditional board games, collectible card games such as Pokemon or Magic: The Gathering and, most especially, role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons.

“We thought our target was about 18-30 (years old). In Sierra Vista it’s 4-80,” Walter said. “They all come; they all play board games together. It’s great; it’s awesome.”

The trio are also in works to open a fourth location in Benson.

Walter and Frank Rich said that The Gathering Scene will be the gaming headquarters for Arizona Fan Fest, which will take place on Safford’s Main Street April 22-24, 2022.