'Unplugged' Café lives up to its name during power outages

Unplugged is the aptly named café in downtown Fredericton which is one of the few business able to offer it's services to customers when winter strikes and the power goes off.

Board game café is able to offer its core service of social entertainment when the power goes out

The Unplugged Café in Fredericton can be a refuge for those without electricity where old-fashioned board games reign supreme. (Shane Fowler/CBC)

It's game on when the lights go out at Fredericton's board game café. 

Unplugged, as it is aptly named, is one of the few business able to offer its services to customers when winter strikes and the power goes off. 

"One of the main reasons that someone should be coming to a place called 'Unplugged' when the power is out is because you can still play board games and still have fun when there isn't any power," said Travis Grant, owner of the Unplugged café.

"In fact we've been open when our power has gone out and people have stayed, they still had fun, they still played games." 

Owner of Unplugged Café, Travis Grant, says his business is still able to host players when the electricity goes out thanks to board games and an abundance of flashlights. (Shane Fowler/CBC)

Originally named for getting people to socialize and play board games face-to-face, 'Unplugged' is also a sanctuary for those without electricity due to power outages. 

Lots of flashlights

"The beauty of being a board game café is you don't need power," said Grant. 

That rings true even if the business itself loses electricity.   

"So when the power goes out we've got tons of flashlights from the escape rooms upstairs, said Grant. "So we have an abundance of flashlights and we're able to light this place up pretty nice."  

The Unplugged Café offers 600 different games - all of which can be played without electricity. (Shane Fowler/CBC)
There are some aspects of the business that aren't able to function if the café does fall off the grid, such as kitchen services, and some electronic payment options, but the fundamental service of gameplay and its brand of entertainment stays intact even when the power lines don't.

"If the power goes out it's not an automatic forfeit," said Grant. "You can play as long as you like." 

About the Author

Shane Fowler


Shane Fowler has been a CBC journalist based in Fredericton since 2013.