The Rise of Board Game Cafes in the US

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Board games have increased in popularity over the last decade, and board game cafes are capitalizing on that popularity with a cozy, inviting atmosphere. Customers can enjoy games, coffee, and role play. The cafes offer a variety of games for both adults and children. Some locations host special events for families, including trivia nights and board game nights.

The first board game cafe opened in the U.S. was in Berkeley, California. It offers a board game library and is known for its staff of game gurus. The game library is available to guests for a small fee, and the cafe’s menu includes classic finger foods and smoothies.

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While some board game cafes cater to children and teenagers, the majority are geared toward adults. Brooklyn Strategist opened in response to a growing need for after-school activities. The growing popularity of board game cafes speaks to an underlying need for social interaction and teamwork. Board games can be an incredibly meaningful way to spend time with friends or family.

The renaissance of the board game has continued to be a major trend. Hobby game sales were up 21 percent in 2016 and topped $1.4 billion. The board game convention, GenCon, was attended by more than 208,000 people in 2017. Board game cafes are popping up everywhere, and most offer food and drinks, as well as access to more than 1,000 different games. There are even board game cafes in Glendale, Calif., that offer individual and family memberships.

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Board game cafes offer an excellent opportunity to meet friends. They are like a “table away from home” where you can enjoy good conversation, good food, and competitive gaming. Whether you are looking for a casual game or a more competitive atmosphere, board game cafes offer a perfect space for the perfect game night.

Board game cafes generally charge a small cover charge for playing games. Some cafes waive the fee if food is ordered at the same time. Others will count the fee against your total bill. The owners of board game cafes must also manage the upkeep of the games, as they need to be replaced frequently. Board game cafes may also charge a small fee to compensate for staff time spent teaching the games.

The cafes are not the only places to play board games. There are also arcades that feature board games. KC’s Pub, for example, hosts a trivia night every Wednesday. The casual dining venue does not require reservations, but it does offer a private party room for private gatherings. Although tables are limited, guests are encouraged to stay as long as possible.

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The Rise of Board Game Cafes in the US
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