SAINT JOHN– After not having a permanent home for over a year, Offline Board Game Cafe has officially opened its new location in uptown Saint John.
Located at 98 Prince William Street, Offline Board Game Cafe offers a space for people to play a huge variety of board games with friends while enjoying drinks and a bite to eat. The cafe also does parties, board game rentals, and board game sales.
Owner Susan Pass bought the new location over a year ago but encountered some challenges getting to this point. Securing financing, extensive renovations and a fire upstairs all made getting to opening day a challenge.
“There were a couple of times where I was like ‘Ok, tools down. I need to regroup and figure it out,'” says Pass. “Not for a second did I want to give up, but I had to get creative.”
Offline left their old location on Rothesay Avenue due to issues with the building. So over the last year, Offline has been hosting pop-up board game nights at places like the Wheelhouse and private parties. With the new location in the city’s core, Pass says she’s expecting the cafe to be a lot busier.
“We have so many residents that can walk home. There was nobody walking home from Rothesay Avenue. We have no idea what we’re in for,” she says.
“Just talking to the other business as well, I’m pretty confident we’re going to do a lot better. We’re definitely going to have longer opening hours.”
Offline Board Game Cafe will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays. They will open at 9 a.m. on weekends and will stay open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. The cafe has a full-service kitchen serving what Pass calls “college chic” comfort foods, and once the liquor license is secured, Moosehead beer on tap. It also has soft drinks, coffee from Java Moose and candy from nearby Freak Lunchbox.
The Cafe will have its grand opening Aug. 10, where it will also be introducing a breakfast menu.
There’s been a lot of tears, frustration and challenges to finally get to this day, but Pass says it’s the overwhelming support for the community that has kept her and her team going.
“I’m just extremely grateful for every single person out there who has [supported us]. It’s been a year from hell and the community of gamers and Saint John, in general, has not given up and it’s something to fight for. I’ve never fought harder in my life to have something,” says Pass.
“I would have a bad day…and then I would get a bunch of messages from people I don’t know. Messages like ‘You guys are my favourite place’ and ‘We met there and it was our first date. We want to have our anniversary there.’ Then I would just be like, ‘Ok, I will find a way. I will make it happen.'”