A board game café is coming to Fredericton next month. Unplugged: A Board Games Café is expecting to open its doors by the end of February at 418 Queen St.
Travis Grant is the mastermind behind the idea. He had been to a few cafes in Toronto and Ottawa, and figured it was About Time to start something similar in Fredericton. A place to sit, grab a coffee and nerd out.
“My sister and brother-in-law were visiting over the summer and he and my brother and I got talking about it and it snowballed from there,” said Grant. “It sounded like something that was fun and we all like board games. We’re all big nerds at heart.”
Grant is committed to making the café a place where anyone is welcome to play. You can expect the classics like Monopoly, Battleship and Settlers of Catan and newer more modern games like Suburbia and Cards Against Humanity. The café has a constantly growing collection of more than 200 games. No game seems to be Taboo.
“There’s going to be everything for everyone.”
While most board game cafés charge an entrance fee and customers can stay and play as long as they wish, Grant isn’t certain that’s the right strategy for Unplugged. He said they’re exploring having the café open to everyone, as opposed to requiring a Ticket to Ride, so people can grab a ‘Shadows over Caramelatté’ or a bite to eat without paying the entrance fee.
Even if you don’t have a Clue, don’t say Sorry, you won’t be in Trouble. Grant says Unplugged is still for you.
“We want it to be a place where people who game once a month, once a few months, can come in, look around and feel comfortable,” says Grant. “It’s not just a club for just geeks.”
Staff will be board game geeks themselves, and will be able to provide suggestions, walkthroughs and advice.
Grant says Unplugged offers a place for people to put the phone away and just have fun face-to-face.
“If you’re someone who is looking to take a guy or a girl out on a fun date or even a first date, it’s a great way to break the ice. You get a fun game to play,” says Grant. “Grab whatever you want and then that automatically opens up dialogue.”
He’s open to talking with already established board game communities about what games they’d like to see in the café.
“We’re looking at opening up leagues, memberships, stuff like that, that people who are going to be coming in a lot, we want to be able to reward them.”
Grant owns and operates the store along with his brother Adam, and brother-in-law, Jeremy Ames.