Childhood memories that didn’t involve iPads or PlayStations are a major reason why such places appeal to us right away. Pooja Arambhan, Curator, MeSoHappi and The Captain’s Table tells us that she and her sister spent a lot of time at their mother’s restaurant as kids. “At that age, we didn’t really have video games or any other form of entertainment. We would be settled into the corner with UNO or Snakes and Ladders and I remember spending hours playing these games. When we were conceptualising MeSoHappi, we were adamant that it would include all our childhood memories and we definitely had to have them at the restaurant.”
Arpana Gvalani, Owner of Gostana has been a fan of board games as long as she can remember and stocks plenty of them at her friendly, healthy burger joint. She tells us that they work really well to break the ice between people who otherwise wouldn’t strike up a conversation at all. “Sometimes one table will be playing ‘Taboo’ and the people on the next table will join in, it’s fun to see that,” says Gvalani.
Apart from all the fun and games (we love our puns) it’s obviously a great way to retain customers too. But a concept like this, unless intrinsic to the atmosphere and general experience at the restaurant, can come across as a bit ‘fake’ to diners. The team at 212 All Day Café and Bar rely heavily on creating a “comfort quotient” for their customers. “Be it through our food, ambience, and everything else that we house. Board Games are symbolic of exactly this,” says a team member. So naturally, their collection boasts of Jenga, Pictionary and Snakes & Ladders too!
Speaking of all that spells comfort, Eddies Bistro has taken things up a notch higher by dedicating an event to board games! Nishant Mitra, Head Chef and Head of Operations says, “We host a Board Games event at Eddies every month in collaboration with a friend of mine who runs a club called Board Game Bash, since we have a shared interest in board games. It also provides a mid-week break to our customers with fun board games. We are also looking to create a different culture at the bistro.”
Games at restaurants sure have come a long way from solving jumbled words and crossword puzzles on a table mat, haven’t they? Will you ditch the Xbox for a game of Taboo this weekend? Give us a shout if you do!