What is a board game bar?
How long has this concept been around?
Why are these kinds of bars interesting?
Board game bars are pretty much just what they sound like: bars where you can go play board games, either with friends or strangers. These bars have been becoming popular for the past several years and they, along with video game bars, are beginning to crop up all around the world.
In this article, we’ll show you 13 of our favorite board game bars. You’ll be able to find the right one for your needs and see if there are any near you locally as well.
Check out our favorite board game bars listed below.
VISIT THEM HERE: https://kingmakersfun.com/
Location: Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday 5pm to 11pm; Friday 5pm to 1am; Saturday 1pm to 1am; Sunday 1pm to 8pm
Some available games: Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride, Hoopla, Say Anything
Food and drinks to try: Food and drinks may change throughout the year and between both locations.
Kingmakers functions as a café/bar/store combination that allows you to enjoy the best of all of these. With a $5 cover charge, guests can play any games they want as long as they want while ordering drinks and food.
2. The Cloak & Blaster
VISIT THEM HERE: https://www.cloakandblaster.com/
Location: Orlando, Florida
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday 6pm to midnight; Friday 6pm to 2am; Saturday 2pm to 2am; Sunday 4pm to midnight
Some available games: Munchkin, Apples to Apples, Axis & Allies
Food and drinks to try: The Smaug burger, Gollum’s Fish & Chips, Hogwarts After Dark cocktail, Sonic Screwdriver cocktail
Cloak & Blaster offers board games as well as a few select video games, all with just a one dollar cover charge. Guests can order food and drinks while playing quick games or joining in tabletop roleplaying games in the upstairs lounge. Children are welcome before 8pm only.
3. The Uncommons
VISIT THEM HERE: http://uncommonsnyc.com/
Location: New York, New York
Hours: Monday through Thursday 8:30am to midnight; Friday and Saturday 8:30am to 1am; Sunday 8:30am to 11pm
Some available games: Ticket to Ride, Cards Against Humanity, Magic: The Gathering
Food and drinks to try: New York bagels, non-alcoholic lattes, local craft beers and wines
The Uncommons offers a variety of local craft beers as well as other drinks for guests to check out. It remains one of the most popular places in New York for a game of Magic: The Gathering, and it hosts Magic events regularly throughout the month. There are many board games available to play at this location, even if you aren’t into Magic, and the restaurant is more like a café that serves alcohol than a straight up bar.
4. Vigilante Bar
VISIT THEM HERE: https://vigilantebar.com/
Location: Austin, Texas
Hours: Monday through Thursday 4pm to midnight; Friday and Saturday 11am to midnight; Sunday 11am to 10pm
Some available games: Forbidden Island, Hanabi, Scrabble, Splendor
Food and drinks to try: Vigilante burger, Four Loki sake bomb, Let The Wookie Win cocktail
Vigilante Bar offers a from-scratch kitchen with lots of upscale, modern gastropub food items to sample. There are service robots available at this bar that can help you with your games as well as your food, and there are also plenty of real human employees ready to offer their suggestions and teach you how to play the different games available, too. Stop in and ty local craft beers along with your favorite board games.
5. AFK Tavern
VISIT THEM HERE: http://www.afktavern.com/
Location: Everett, Washington
Hours: Monday through Friday 3pm to 2am; Saturday and Sunday 11am to 2am
Some available games: The available games may change throughout the year at AFK Tavern, although many are tabletop RPGs.
Food and drinks to try: The food and drinks available at AFK Tavern may change throughout the year, so there is no one set online menu.
AFK Tavern prides itself on being a great location for self-proclaimed nerds and geeks to stop in and have a drink while playing some of their favorite games. This bar caters to locals and cares a lot about what its recurring customers have to say, particularly through social media. They also offer theme nights to encourage fans of different franchises and genres to visit and learn what makes this bar really stand out.
6. The Critical Sip
VISIT THEM HERE: https://ggportland.com/critical-sip/
Location: Portland, Oregon
Hours: Monday through Saturday 10am to 10pm; Sunday noon to 8pm
Some available games: Many games available at The Critical Sip are tabletop RPGs, although there are others as well.
Food and drinks to try: Mead, sake, craft beers
The Critical Sip is located inside Guardian Games and is an excellent place to stop in and have a drink when you want to go shopping for something new for your collection. You can try out many of the available games while spending time in the bar, and you can enjoy a variety of unique drinks at the same time.
7. Pieces Board Game Bar & Cafe
VISIT THEM HERE: http://www.stlpieces.com/#home
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday 4pm to 11:30pm; Friday noon to 1am; Saturday 10am to 1am; Sunday 10am to 10pm
Some available games: Agricola, Carcassonne, Life, Mancala
Food and drinks to try: Midwest poke bowl, Toadstool omelet, Candyland cocktail, Whipped Peach cocktail
Pieces offers casual food options as well as bar drinks and plenty of games to keep you occupied. This bar charges $5 per person to use the games and allows children as long as they are with an adult.
8. Guild Hall
VISIT THEM HERE: http://www.guildhall.tv/
Location: Whittier and Burbank, California
Hours: Monday and Tuesday 4pm to midnight; Wednesday and Thursday 11:30am to midnight; Friday and Saturday 11:30am to 2am; Sunday 11:30am to midnight
Some available games: There are 150 games at Guild Hall, but they are often changing.
Food and drinks to try: Hot chicken salad, Heart of Gold cocktail, Jewelsmith cocktail
Guild Hall has two locations, both of which are slightly more upscale than some of the others on this list. The Whittier location is open to all ages, but the Burbank location is adults only.
9. The Board Room
VISIT THEM HERE: https://theboardroomva.com/
Location: Arlington, Virginia
Hours: Monday through Friday 4pm to 2am; Saturday and Sunday 11am to 2am
Some available games: Trivial Pursuit, Monopoly, Apples to Apples
Food and drinks to try: Smokey Margarita, Mules Against Humanity
The Board Room offers weekly events for locals and visitors and has several different types of trivia nights to keep things interesting as well. It also offers a large margarita bar and Thursday and Friday is fresh margarita night.
10. Pawns and Pints
VISIT THEM HERE: https://www.pawnsandpints.com/
Location: Kansas City, Missouri
Hours: Monday through Thursday 4pm to 11pm; Friday 1pm to 1:30am; Saturday 9am to 1:30am; Sunday 11am to 11pm
Some available games: Age of Gods, Cavemen, Pandemic
Food and drinks to try: Wookie Punch, Twilight Struggle, Tokaido Tea
Pawns and Pints has recently relocated to a larger location with free parking, so locals can benefit from this change of pace. This is a bar without an on-site kitchen, but there are restaurants that share the same business space and will gladly serve to customers of the bar who are interested in having something to eat. This bar offers many events each month to get locals and visitors alike involved.
11. Game Knight
VISIT THEM HERE: https://pdxgameknight.com/
Location: Portland, Oregon
Hours: Sunday 2pm to 11pm; Monday through Wednesday 4pm to 11pm; Thursday through Saturday 4pm to midnight
Some available games: Go, Risk, Jenga, Cards Against Humanity
Food and drinks to try: Battleship sandwich, “Dice” Bowl, local craft beers
This pub serves food with an American and Asian flavor as well as tasty cocktails and plenty of craft beers. There is a $5 cover charge and people are encouraged to play games with strangers or bring along big groups of friends to this establishment. There are over 700 games in stock at this bar.
12. Board Game Republic
VISIT THEM HERE: https://www.boardgamerepublic.com/
Location: Denver, Colorado
Hours: 4pm to 10pm Tuesday through Thursday; 11am to 12am Friday through Sunday
Some available games: 2 player games, trivia games, adults-only games, party games and more
Food and drinks to try: Flatbreads, charcuterie, Mile High Mule, Colorado Unicorn
Board Game Republic is more like a tavern than a bar. It serves alcoholic beverages as well as tasty and healthy food offerings. Children are welcome in this establishment as long as they stay with adults in the restaurant portion, although parents are advised to pay attention to what’s going on, as some games can be risqué.
Are board game bars better or about the same as board game cafes? Is it better to go to one of these bars than it is to host a game at home? Depending on the type of night you want to enjoy, you might prefer to go out to a board game bar instead of trying to host everyone at your home. If you have a smaller home or just want something more casual without having to clean it up yourself afterward, a bar can be a great solution. And if you want a place where you can have some alcohol instead of just coffee, stick to a bar over a café.
Pick from our list above and enjoy your next game night out on the town!