Waterloo’s first board game café coming soon

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Jeanette Menezes and Sean Wilson are excited to get “board.”

The young couple has launched Games on Tap, Waterloo’s first board game café.

Games on Tap, located at 321 Weber Street North, hopes to be the latest hangout spot for university students and young professionals in the coming months.

The name describes exactly what customers can expect from the new business: a place to wine, dine and play an assortment of board games. And there are a lot to choose from.

“Five hundred fifty, that’s what we’re starting with,” said Wilson when asked how many games are expected to hit the shelves at the café. “Our budget is continually going to add to our stock.”

Board game cafés have become an extremely popular concept among the younger crowd. Toronto currently has a variety board game cafés in the downtown core, notably Snakes and Lattes located on Bloor Street West and Castle Board Game Café on Spadina Avenue.

“That’s actually where we first experienced it,” Menezes said. “We had been planning to do it for a long time and we wanted to go to a new market … we thoughtWaterloo would be a great place for it.”

Menezes, a Wilfrid Laurier University graduate, had previously worked in an office environment when she decided to make the switch to becoming a business owner last year. Her husband is a self-described “computer guy,” who most recently worked in web development.

Both are first-time business owners and decided that their first project would be tailored towards their passion for board games.

“It’s all going towards a bigger vision,” Menezes said.

The couple plans on having a soft opening at the end of July and a formal grand opening in the fall, once the majority of the students come back.

“We’ll do a big splash,” Menezes said. “Contests, promotions – things to get people in the door.”

Wilson also added that Games on Tap will run special events on “slower nights” during the week. He emphasized the intent to host leagues, tournaments and even trivia nights.

However, what the couple is most excited for is setting up shop in the Waterloo community — something they both described as a huge factor in their plan.

“With the two universities and young professional crowd we thought it would be great to have it out here,” Menezes said.

“We’ve been looking for a location in Waterloo for about a year … we think it’s got a huge board game community.”

Currently Menezes and Wilson are working with a team of select staff to help give get Games on Tap more exposure. Located away from the uptown core and night social scene, the young couple identifies their location as their biggest challenge.

The real excitement lies within the reality that Menezes and Wilson are able to say they brought the first board game café to Waterloo.

“It’s been on our agenda for a few years,” Menezes said. “We’re really happy it’s becoming a fruition.”

 

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