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Featured Business Meli’s Gaming Cafe

Meli’s Gaming Cafe

If you are looking for a fun destination for the over 21 crowd, Meli’s Gaming Cafe in downtown Hampshire is a great option.

Located at 129 S. State Street, Meli’s Gaming offers a comfortable, classy, quiet vibe where people can come for a date night, girls’ night out, or a solo visit to unwind after work.

The owner, Tatjana Rigoni, said she always wanted to own her own gaming cafe.  In her prior career, she worked for Accel Entertainment as a relationship manager and had over 50 locations. For over 8 years, she worked with restaurants, truck stops, bars, and gaming cafes in Genoa, Pingree Grove and surrounding communities.

In that role, “I helped locations with marketing, compliance, location data analysis and everything that has to do with the success of gaming,” she said, so owning her own cafe was a natural progression.

The Rigoni Family

Courtesy Photo: Michael and Tatjana Rigoni with their children, Luca and Giovanni

Tatjana is married to Michael Rigoni, who works as a Senior Manager of Engineering Services at Stryker in Cary Grove. They have two children, Luca and Giovanni.

It was after the birth of Giovanni that Tatjana decided to take a leave of absence from Accel Entertainment to spend time with her family.

“I loved being home, but I still needed something.  I began researching real estate locations and I found this location in Hampshire,” she said.

Two Complementary Businesses

When she bought the building, she knew she wouldn’t need all the space for her gaming cafe.  She wanted to bring two complementary businesses to Hampshire.  She divided the building and leased out the vacant space which is currently being built out for a restaurant.

The gaming cafe offers beer and wine as well as light snacks, but Tatjana wanted to have food available close by for her customers. She contracted with RR Dogs to occupy the restaurant space and create a brick-and-mortar location for their food truck business.

Choosing Hampshire for Meli’s Gaming Cafe

Tatjana said she loves the Village of Hampshire and appreciates the potential for growth with all of the new development and investment in town.

“I love that the downtown is being developed.  People are seeing all of the improvements.  The Village is investing money in the community and everyone wants to be here,” she said.

Staff and Events

Meli’s Gaming Cafe employs 4 hosts who serve as gaming attendants. All four of them are locals who live in the area and who are dedicated to providing VIP treatment for their customers.

Tatjana plans to offer fun events to appeal to a wide range of customers including paint-and-sip events, candle making, and Sunday morning mimosa brunches.

A Unique Ambience for Customers

Meli’s Gaming Cafe offers trendy décor with cozy seating areas for small groups to gather for business meetings, date nights, or casual cocktails with friends. The gaming area is screened off from the bar area offering privacy for people who want to relax and unwind while playing the slots.

“The Cafe is for anyone who doesn’t want loud music or sports games on TV. It is a nice community where people can come to socialize and play in private,” she said.

Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting

Meli’s Gaming Cafe will celebrate a Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting on Thursday, April 4th from 11am to 1pm.  The over-21community is welcome to attend.  Meli’s will offer a delicious brunch catered by RR Dogs, free gifts for all attendees, drawings every 20 minutes for FREE game play and more.


About this Business:

Name:  Meli’s Gaming Cafe

Owner:  Tatjana Rigoni

Location: 129 S State Street, Hampshire

Phone: (847) 857-7180

Number of Employees:  4

Winter Hours:  Sunday – Thursday 9am to 11pm, Friday – Saturday 9am to 12am

Summer Hours: Sunday – Thursday 9am to 12am, Friday – Saturday 9am-1am