Whether it’s a solitary challenge like a Rubik’s cube or friendly social competitions like poker or chess, people of all ages love to play games. Games also make great gifts since they bring family & friends together for countless hours of leisurely fun.
As luck would have it, Westchase District is home to one of the city’s best resources for traditional family games. Billed as “America’s Oldest Darts Pro Shop – Since 1974,” Rick’s Darts and Games is located at 11396 Westheimer, in Woodland Park Center.
In business for 41 years, 18 of them in Westchase District, owner Rick Osgood features an impressive variety of family games as well as some of the most comprehensive expertise around.
“At first I only sold kites, hang gliders & Frisbees,” Osgood said. “But then I realized I needed something for customers to buy that didn’t depend on good weather.
To say that Osgood has widened his scope of merchandise is putting it mildly. He now sells everything from a $6 Slinky to $1,000 handmade chess sets. Interested in playing cards, dominoes, mah jongg, backgammon or dice games? He’s got you covered. What about table tennis, checkers, chess, disc golf, billiards or jigsaw puzzles? Rick’s your man.
Master of Fine Darts
However, as the store’s name implies, Rick’s specializes in darts: everything from soft-tipped to steel-pointed, from tournament-grade dartboards to self-scoring electronic units. Plus dartboard cabinets and wall protectors to protect your game room wall. And then there are the darts themselves.
“Darts have four components to them: the point, the barrel, the shaft and the flight,” Osgood said. “While one can still have fun without proper technique, there are certain throwing basics that will improve one’s game. We have dartboard here in the store, so we can offer throwing tips while you try out darts sets”. “It’s like golf clubs or tennis racquets; people have different preferences. Fortunately, we have hundreds of various dart sets and accessories to satisfy them all.”
While a set of three darts can run from $15 and $250, basic darts lessons at Rick’s are always free. “Because I’m so busy running the store, when I’m sharing tips and tricks is about the only time I’m able to play darts myself,” Osgood said. “So I’m always more than happy to help others improve their games.”
Pubs and Proximity
One of Osgood’s claims to local fame is being responsible for nearly single-handedly expanding the number of public places offering dart games. “When I started back in 1974, there were only three establishments in Houston where adults could play darts. I spent many years promoting darts and darts leagues in local pubs.” he said. Today, his website lists more than 200 pubs throughout greater Houston where customers can play darts, including six locations in Westchase District alone.
“Since 1999, I’ve purchased my dart supplies from Rick, as well as all of my chess and backgammon boards,” said Ciarian “Mr. C” Simon, owner of Westchase Tavern. “Besides his great customer service, what makes Rick special is his encyclopedic knowledge and expertise about every game in his store.”
Pub owners from across Houston and beyond visit Rick’s to replace and add to their dart equipment, something Osgood said is made easy to do because of his store’s location.
“Being in Westchase District allows my customers to reach me easily from all over town,” he said. “That’s one of the main reasons I’ve stayed in the area for so long.”
Rick’s Darts & Games
11396-B Westheimer Road