This store and website are owned and operated by Gary Brunger, an avid card game enthusiast, card game instructor, club organizer, and playing card importer. The name "TaroBear" is actually only a screen name (he does not wish for people offline to call him that). The screen name was adopted a few years before the store opened, and was used on several European card game sites, mainly those featuring one of Gary's favorite games, the French version of the game of Tarot.
In January, 2008, the "doors" opened on a new ebay store called TaroBear's Lair. Originally, it was intended to be a place where people in the US could obtain French Tarot Nouveau card decks with which to play the popular French card game, Jeu de Tarot. A local club called the North East Ohio Tarot Players was also started in March, to teach and promote the game. In time, Italian, Swiss, and Austrian versions of the Tarot deck were added to the store, and finally, a vast array of regular European playing card patterns, as well as a few accessories and a couple of books, were introduced, making TaroBear's Lair your one-stop European playing card superstore!
A move was also made away from ebay to a privately owned web domain. The tarobearslair.com domain was recently pointed towards a new ecommerce service provider, adding some very nice new features to the web store.
Based on our close proximity to the greater Cleveland area, we are able to offer some benefits to local customers that we are not able to provide our online customers (though we would if we could):
- We offer a card game social group, known as the Cleveland Card Game Players that features card games from all of the main card-centers of Europe. The group meets several times every week to play card games in a repeating cycle of ethnic themes, Central Europe (countries part of the former Austrian-Hungariam Empire), France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland.
- If you are a local resident, you can shop with us in person on Wednesdays and Saturdays between 8:00 and 4:00 at our permanent indoor booth (Center Building, #30) at Jamie's Flea Market in Amherst, and also at some of the local festivals.
Enjoy your shopping experience, and help us re-introduce the fine traditions of card-play in this ever-increasingly device-oriented world!