Customers anything but bored with downtown Halifax’s new gaming hub

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HALIFAX - If you enjoy taking a Risk or getting into Trouble, settling in Catan or taking out the Riff Raff, there’s a new cafe in Halifax that might be right up your alley.

John Gallant, left, and Kris Moulton demo Riff Raff, one of the hundreds of games available to play at the Board Room Game Cafe on Barrington Street.

Business has been bustling at the city’s new Board Room Game Cafe, which opened earlier this fall.

“I was expecting some popularity, but it’s been better received than I planned for,” said owner Kris Moulton. “It’s great.”

Nestled in a cozy, underground atrium on Barrington Street, the Board Room is a blend of cafe, pub, retail outlet and board game hub. Customers pay a $5 cover charge and get to try out any of the more than 400 games on offer.

Options include classics like Monopoly and Crokinole, and more recent releases such as Cards Against Humanity and Ticket To Ride.

“There’s a game for everybody,” said Moulton.

“It’s different than the club scene,” he added. “(And) we’re cheaper than a movie.”

The café has become so popular staff now take waitlists on Friday and Saturday nights.

Unlike other game stores in Halifax, the venue is licensed to sell alcohol and also offers sandwiches and other light fare.

Halifax’s Board Room is the latest in a series of similar businesses popping up across the country, from Vancouver to Montreal.

“We’re in a sort of board game renaissance right now,” said Lewis McGinn, the Board Room’s head barista.

“There are tonnes of good games coming out every month. People are really into it again.”

“I think it’s got a lot to do with how we spend most of our day in front of the computer screen,” said owner Moulton. “It’s a push back against the digital domain.”

The Cole Harbour native worked in Toronto at Canada’s original board game cafe, Snakes and Lattes, before returning to Halifax this year to open the Board Room.

First-timer Rachel Hastings visited the cafe with friends on Tuesday.

“It’s really fun,” said the 26-year-old Dalhousie student. “There are so many games that you wouldn’t get to try because you’d have to buy them.

“(And) it’s nicer than going to a movie because you get to talk and enjoy your friends.”

- by Geordon Omand - Metro Halifax

Organizations: Board Room

Geographic location: Halifax, Barrington Street, Vancouver Montreal Toronto Canada

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