New Brunswick

Unplugged cafe hopes to bring back board games

A new cafe opening in Fredericton soon will give residents a chance to unplug and have fun with board games.

Unplugged has almost 300 games to choose from, including some on DVD

Game time

8 years ago
Duration 1:54
Board game cafe rolls the dice in Fredericton.

A new cafe opening in Fredericton soon will give residents a chance to unplug and have fun with board games.

Called Unplugged, Travis Grant came up with the idea during a conversation with his brother-in-law, who lives in Ottawa. He told Travis about the cafes in that city where people come in, sit and play board games.

"I think we live in a time now where people live a little too much in technology and it's gotten to the point where people are wanting to put that down," he said.

"They're wanting to gather with their friends, they're wanting to have a conversation and have fun and a board games cafe is a good place to do that."

Last month Grant announced his new cafe on social media and within two days, the page collected more than 2,000 likes on Facebook.

When the notice went up that the cafe was hiring, more than 200 applications were submitted.

Grant says they were looking for very skilled staff.

Hired 'game gurus'

"We're going to have what we call 'game gurus'," he explained. "These are people who have intimate knowledge on pretty much all the games...they can set it up and they walk you through a couple rounds so you don't have to sit and read a 30 page manual." 

Unplugged has almost 300 games to choose from, everything from the classics, to some more obscure titles and some on DVD as well.

Customers can play as many games and as long as they like, after paying the $5 cover charge.

The board game cafe trend originated in Asia, but has taken off in Canada in cities like Toronto, Halifax and Ottawa.

Grant says Fredericton is ready to be added to the list.

"I think a board games cafe will work especially in Fredericton because there's not really a lot to do here for anyone in the younger age categories all the way up," he said.

"Even if you went on a date, you only have movie theatres and a few other places. I think this is a place where people are going to want to come, put away their phones, put away technology sit down and have a conversation and have fun with board games."

Grant hopes the cafe will be open by this weekend.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?