I normally take the day after Thanksgiving as my personal holiday. Today was no exception — and I spent the day relaxing and placing board games. The “where”, however, was new: Game Haus Cafe in Glendale.
Game Haus (for which I was a Kickstarter supporter) is a brand-new coffeehouse / cafe / gaming space. They have delicious coffees and teas, a variety of gourmet sandwiches, simple gourmet pizzas, desserts, and most importantly, pie (here’s a link to the full menu). They also have a large variety of board games (over 600), including not only the Euro-games you see at Games Days, but family games, trivia games, word games, party games — in other words, something for everyone. $5 buys you an all-day gaming pass.
This makes them very handy for days when there is no Games Day scheduled, but you want to play games. You go down there… and play. From where I am in Northridge, it took me around 20 minutes to get there when I left to arrive shortly after opening (11am). They are essentially at the intersection of San Fernando and Brand (on the San Fernando side). If you go 1 bl S on San Fernando, you can likely find parking in the residential district, but it is a bit of a walk. (I’d exit I-5 at Los Feliz, go E to San Fernando, and then S on San Fernando).
They’ve been open less than a month, and seemed to be pretty crowded by 1pm-ish. There are a few growing pains they are working on, and I do have a few suggestions:
- Single Gamers. There needs to be something for single-gamers looking for people to game with. Right now, you try to glom onto groups, and that’s an imperfect art (luckily, today there was another single-gamer, and we tended to play together). I’d suggest perhaps a board indicating who is there for single gaming, and perhaps a color sticker on the badge.
- Names. It would up the friendliness quotient if the “day gaming” sticker included the player’s first name. This might also help people mingle to find other gamers.
- Game Ambassador. I found myself, when people were wandering looking for games, asking them what type of game they were looking for… and helping them find games. I also helped teach a game or two. This sort of “ambassador” is needed to help improve the friendliness, and to help people find new games they might not know. Again, people willing to do this might be able to get a “Game Ambassador” sticker, and perhaps could earn points towards free pie.
- Paper and Pens. Many games require scoring or notation. It might be useful to have some small stacks of paper and pens available. They could be promotional — so if people take the pens they’ve got the info on Game Haus.
- Gluten-Free Food. This comes from my wife — adding some gluten-free delicacies to the baked goods menu would be wonderful.
As you can see, none of these are fatal flaws and are opening-time rough edges. This cafe is the first of its kind in the area, and I truly hope it succeeds. I know I’ll certainly be back when I can fit it into my schedule.