Nfld. & Labrador

St. John's business owner puts cafe up for sale to write book about love

Instead of pouring coffee, a downtown business owner will be pouring his heart out onto the pages of his upcoming book.

Mochanopoly has been on the market for two months

Mochanopoly, a coffee and board game cafe is now on the market, says Leon Chung. (Meg Roberts/CBC)

Instead of pouring coffee, a downtown business owner will be pouring his heart out onto the pages of his upcoming book.

Leon Chung and his brother have decided to put their three-year-old business, Mochanopoly, up for sale so Chung can focus on his romance novel.

"I just don't have time to do a book full-time and look after the cafe full-time," said Chung, who was last year's recipient of two local art grants.

"We feel like Mochanopoly is doing well enough that we can hand it down to somebody who can take care of it."

Customers pay $2.50 per hour to hang out at Mochanopoly and play any of the cafe's 170 board and card games. There are also drinks and snacks available for purchase. (Meg Roberts/CBC)

Chung said his book consists of seven short love stories all set in St. John's, however not all of them are about romantic love. Some of the story lines consist of people falling in love with the city and a mother's love for her child.

"St. John's is a very romantic city in my opinion. You see a lot of romantic stories about Paris and Japan and I think St. John's is one of the most romantic cities in the world."

Meanwhile, his brother, and the co-owner of the business, is looking to move out of the province and spend some time overseas.

Brothers Leon and Erich Chung have always dreamed of opening a cafe and are thrilled with how warmly St. John's has welcomed Mochanopoly so far. (CBC)

Although the owners are selling the business because of other commitments, Chung said the business has faced its share of struggles in the downtown core. Tax hikes and less money in people's pocket is something the cafe had to overcome.

"You live in one of the oldest, most beautiful cities in North America and there are a lot of rules that you have to follow ... it definitely takes a lot of work for sure."

It would be heartbreaking if we had to close it.- Leon Chung

The shop has been on the market for two months, Chung said there has been some interest. However, he's waiting for the perfect buyer.

"We want to make sure it's someone that really loves board games and really loves the community. We are very inclusive, it's a safe space for everybody and we want to make sure [the buyer] understands that."

"We will keep it going for as long we can … It would be heartbreaking if we had to close it."

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