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Wednesday 7 June 2023 Dublin: 13°C
# snakes and ladders
A café dedicated to board games could be opening in Dublin soon
Jenga, anyone?


WHEN YOU WERE flicking around with those Scrabble pieces as a teenager, you never thought you would see the day where board games were a seriously cool thing to do.

Well, now they are, and everything has changed.

With board game-only cafés popping up in major cities all over the world, it was only a matter of time before Dublin was picked out as a prime location – with the Board House Game Café planning to set up by the end of this year.

monopoly-money-3 Flickr Flickr

Speaking to, owner of the soon-to-be-opened café Carla Marina Soriano told us of the plans for the establishment:

We expect to open later this year – around October or November or maybe even in the summer. We’re looking for a city centre location – maybe Capel Street or Stoneybatter.

The idea came about from the plethora of board game places opening up around the world:

We have some board games cafés we are using as inspiration. They are in places like South Korea, Canada, Brazil and in London – and all are proving very popular.

With such rising popularity in other cities, Dublin seems to be embracing the old school cool of board games enough to justify a dedicated place of business for board game fanatics and the casual gamers alike.

scrabble Eljay Eljay

The co-owner of the venture was answering questions on Reddit during the week, and the subject of a cover charge was raised. Carla confirmed that there will be a cover charge of €5 – but that it will only apply if you are using the board games themselves. Otherwise, it will act as a normal café.

The fact that a charge will exist to use the games is justified by the fact that the café is planning on having hundreds of games as part of its catalogue:

There are a lot of costs associated with The Board House – buying new games, maintaining them and all the related costs that come with the upkeep. We are also going to have a “games guru” to teach people how to play the various board games.

games guru, you say?

The idea behind the games guru is to make the café not just a place for gamers only – but to make it open for everyone.

So, the games guru will be there at all times – kind of like an expert-in-residence. They will provide assistance for the more complex games – not the likes of Scrabble and Monopoly.

boardhouse1 BoardHouseGameCafé BoardHouseGameCafé

Speaking of which – will they have the old classics?

We will have the classic games, but we also want to introduce people to new ones. New board games are more sociable and interactive. They are also quicker, meaning you don’t have to play for hours.

There are plenty of pubs around the country that have board games stashed away on bookshelves for patrons to play with. This won’t be the approach taken at the Board House, though.

We have been to a few of those pubs, yes. There are very few options available in terms of actual board games, and they often have missing pieces. Those pubs can be too loud, too dark and their tables are often not big enough to support the game.

The Dark Tower of Abyss Flickr Flickr

The burning question for many though, is whether you can have a few drinks while communing around a table of Cluedo (or something people actually want to play – a game called Settlers of Catan is very popular, we’re told):

At the moment we are planning on serving wine and craft beer on top of café items. It is a café and it will be open all day – with plans to close very late around 11:30pm.

So, we wait to see how it does when it opens later this year in Dublin. Can Ireland embrace the board game café culture? It will be interesting to find out.

Originally published on


Read: Irish board games we’ve known and loved>

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