When was the last time you played Cards Against Humanity without a drink in your hand? The creators of the Chicago-born card game recognize that playing with your friends is synonymous with food and drink, which is why they're debuting the Chicago Board Game Cafe in Logan Square next year. The 14,000-square-foot space will be located at 1965 N Milwaukee Avenue, in the same building as Margie's Candies.
The café will offer visitors more than 300 games to choose from—from classics like Monopoly and Scrabble to more unique creations from indie developers from across the globe. The games are stored in the building's bank vault, which has been converted to a library of sorts and is managed by teachers who can help guests find the right fit for their table and show them how to play.
"I think part of the reason board games are having a renaissance right now is that people are really atomized and alienated and lonely," says Cards Against Humanity co-creator Max Temkin. "I remember when I moved to Chicago after college how hard it was to connect with a community and find my people, and my dream is to make that easier for people in the future."
Chicago Board Game Cafe also boasts a full dinner menu from executive chef-partner Aaron McKay (Schwa, NoMi) and chef de cuisine Evan Behmer (Mercat a la Planxa, North Pond). The duo's offerings will span the globe, "inspired by markets and sidewalk cafés where locals might gather to play games in Spain, Vietnam and Mexico," according to a press release. Entrees are priced at $14–$60, while wine and cocktails start at $10.
Guests can snag a private table with a reservation and a $30 deposit per person through local booking system Tock. Like other experiences on Tock, the deposit is applied to the total bill at the end of the night. Each reservation includes access to the "library" as well as assistance from pro gamers, who can help gamers get started.
"The gaming scene isn’t necessarily known for being the most welcoming or inclusive community, but we really want to turn that on its head," says Eric Garneau, the café's Director of Games and Retail. "We think that games are for everyone, and we’re really excited to teach people their first board game, or run their first D&D campaign."
The space also houses two interactive escape rooms—The Last Defender and Nova to Lodestar—which were dreamt up by local nonprofit The House Theatre of Chicago. Each room has a 16-person capacity, and tickets range from $39 to $49 per person. Take a look at the team behind Chicago Board Game Cafe, additional menu items and the escape room experience below. Then prepare to laugh your ass off over dinner, drinks and Cards Against Humanity's craziest card combinations.