It was a warm night considering the time of year. I’d met my friend, and two others I didn’t know so well, at Dadeo for a tasty Po’ boy and yam fries. But a hearty supper was just the preview to an even better evening.
We left just as things were getting uncomfortably busy and pointed our compass east. My friend mentioned a new place called the Hexagon Board Game Café and we figured it was worth a shot. After a few u-turns, we found the place which is situated in the less trendy East-area of Whyte. My first thought was that it didn’t really belong on this particular block, and my next thought was “why not (where should a board game café be situated anyway)?”
Upon entering, I immediately noticed the ‘hip’ esthetic. Hexagon’s large vinyl logo acts as a center piece using the same minimalist lines and slim font that I’ve seen in fair-trade coffee shops, restaurant upstarts and craft breweries as of late. The interior has modern light fixtures, a wood floor and tables (naturally), and it’s open concept (of course). Immediately I know I will like this place. Immediately I think that the board game crowd won’t. For one thing, there aren’t that many 50s haircuts in the room. But the popularity of the place, and inclusive vibe, proves my concern is unwarranted.
We ask “how does it work?” and are told we can pick any game from the shelf and find a seat. The cost is $2.50 per hour, per person. That seems reasonable considering many of these games are quite expensive to buy outright, and we can take our pick from hundreds of them. It also seems reasonable compared to the cost of a movie ticket.
We stare at the selection and don’t really say anything. I don’t know what to pick, so I look at my friend. He doesn’t know what to pick so he looks at the other two. They aren’t even looking at the games. Luckily, someone who I suspect is an owner, asks us what type of game we are interested in. “Something easy to learn” I say. “No problem,” he replies, and proceeds to pick out what would be the perfect game for our limited time and attention spans.
After some humming and hawing about location, we finally pick a table. The owner then sits with us, explains the game tactfully, and proceeds to play the first round with us. We learned it quickly, we became competitive, we had fun.
As an added bonus, we had the option of ordering beverages and snacks to pair with our appetites for competition. These were certainly well thought out options—Bloom cookies and locally roasted espresso for example. Being a coffee snob, I wouldn’t say it’s the best coffee in the city, but it’s infinitely better than what I would expect from a board game café. And more than anything, I appreciate the thought and care toward the quality of food and drink Hexagon chooses to serve.
Anyway, we left happy. If you plan on venturing out to Hexagon, a warning that you may want to look into a reservation depending on the evening. It’s popular for a reason.