Social life may be getting more digital, but board games are still a very satisfying way to spend time with people. The appeal is something that has been tapped into by Toronto’s Snakes and Lattes and other successful play cafes around North America. As of late December, the city of St. John’s got its very first and only dedicated board game café.
Mochanopoly Board Game Café is located at 204 Water Street – the space formerly occupied by Coffee and Company near the courthouse. It’s a joint venture of brothers Leon & Erich Chung. Leon is a freelance artist/illustrator and art teacher, and Erich is a photographer and owner of the China House in the Torbay Road Mall.
“It’s a hangout coffee shop where people may enjoy a leisurely game of Scrabble, or an intense all-out game of Risk or King of Tokyo to declare who’s the champion amongst friends,” says Leon.
For $2.50 per person, guests can explore their vast collection of board games and card games, currently totaling 151 games in all. So there are games on offer for everyone’s tastes, from easy-to-play party games like Cards Against Humanity or epics like the Game of Thrones tabletop game. Since some tabletop games have intricate rules and lots of moving parts, the shop has game gurus on staff to assist or to give a friendly suggestion.
“A nice long favourite board game of mine is the always-reliable Catan,” says Leon. “King of New York is one I always enjoy when I’m not looking for anything too long,” he says, referring to the hit tabletop game which plays like King of the Monsters meets Yahtzee.
Along with the games, customers can hit up the beverage menu for coffee, espressos, specialty lattes, milkshakes, and adult beverages (liquor licence pending). “My personal favourite is the Nutella Latte,” says Leon. “Because Nutella … nuff said.”
For marathon sessions, hungry patrons can partake in the menu of gourmet sandwiches (with veggie and vegan options).
To quote a recent Facebook post, “Since board game cafes’ popularity originated in Asia, I think it’s only fitting we serve some Asian style cafe treats at Mochanopoly.” And they look pretty damn good.
Mochanopoly have already tested their operation on the folks at Sandbox Gaming. They’ve gotten their stamp of approval. “What a fantastic experience! There were games aplenty, and the staff was super friendly. I thought their menu all sounded fantastic and was having a hard time deciding until I saw the words Milk and Cookies.’ That’s right ladies and gents, they have Milk and Cookies on the menu!,” says Ashley Quirke
Mochanopoly Board Game Café will be open from noon until midnight. Visit them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MochanopolyCafe.