CHENNAI: Standing on one end of the room are three large shelves, each chock-full of board games. Sleek black chairs and tables are scattered around the room, and the orange walls are covered in gaming posters and memorabilia.
The Board Game Lounge located on 1st Main Road in Gandhi Nagar was launched on Sunday. Run by Chitra Bianca Appasamy and Arjun Sukumaran, the café boasts a collection of around 220 board games for patrons to enjoy. They began conceptualising this café from August last year, as they felt that there was no dedicated space for people to play board games in India.
“Our first board game was Mage Knight in 2012. We read a Kotaku article that described this game as a Gandalf simulator, and we were immediately interested. We ended up playing the game for 12 hours,” said Chitra. Despite the game being very complex for first-timers, they both ended up loving the game, and thus their foray into the field began.
At their café, however, they want to keep the atmosphere as accessible as possible. After understanding the visitor’s knowledge of board games, Chitra and Arjun hope to recommend games that they will enjoy. “But if they want to play a harder game, we will sit and explain the rules to them, no problem. We just want to steer them towards the right games and give them a nice introduction into the hobby,” said Arjun.
The café will focus more on the board games than food, with a few bites and drinks available for visitors to munch on while playing. From Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition), a board game that takes around seven hours to play and requires six players, to crowd favourites like Uno and Monopoly, the café has a range of games that will suit all tastes.
Ever since they started Chennai Board Gamers, a community for board gamers and enthusiasts in the city, in 2012, the couple has seen an increase in the number of interested gamers in the city.
“People see our pictures and feel that CBG isn’t for them. We hope that people bring their grandparents and kids to this place. We want it to be accessible to everybody,” said Chitra.
With a flat fee of `200 on weekdays and `300 on weekends, they hope that this café will give Chennaiites a chance to unplug and spend a few hours with their friends and family. “We are both introverts. We got to know more people over board games because it gives you a social setting that has no pressure. You also get to see their reactions to the game,” said Chitra.
The Board Game Lounge will be open from 2 pm to 10 pm on weekdays and from noon to 9 pm on weekends. For more details, call: 8072906499.