It seems that cities all over the world are giving birth to endless niche and themed cafes, offering quirks ranging from cereal to sewing, but none have taken off like the board game cafe. London in particular is famous for its array of bizarre dining experiences, but unusually this thriving tabletop trend didn’t start here. The first board game cafe was actually in Oxford. This fantastic concept originated in Thirsty Meeples Board Game Cafe
, who recognised the importance of refreshments in completing the board gaming experience! Not only that, the cafe provided an unprecedented social gaming environment where players could share the excitement of discovering new games and engaging in friendly competition.
Board game cafes don’t only cater for seasoned gamers. Most tend to pride themselves on their vast variety of titles, with staff on hand to help customers choose a game and uncover some hidden gems; Monopoly and Scrabble are not the order of the day here. What’s more, the staff are trained to help you understand the rules of whatever game you pick. Surprisingly, the majority of board game cafes aren’t child-oriented, instead focusing on families and groups of adults. Some even serve alcohol and aim to attract an adult crowd late into the night.
The main aim of all board game cafes is to create a friendly social hub for game lovers from any background. Food isn’t the priority, but a bonus! Most cafes offer an enticing menu of substantial meals as well as snacks and sharing boards, often with high quality, locally sourced food and drinks. Just be careful not spill any on the game board! In a time when board games are becoming increasingly forgotten in favour of apps and games consoles, board game cafes could be just what is needed to breathe new life in to the market. In fact, gaming and hobby sellers have seen sales steadily rising over the last few years, perhaps signifying a change in people’s mindsets. For some, board games are the perfect opportunity to disconnect from the virtual world of apps and emojis and instead relax with some real human interaction. Perhaps board games aren’t dying out