“You can’t be serious” he said, pushing his black frames with his index finger. Through thick lenses, he stared down his opponent, who sat across from him. A board game stretched between them on the table, its colorful pieces scattered amidst what appeared to be an intense round of Settlers of Catan.
The two players squared each other off, like in a Western flick.
“Of course I’m serious” the opponent retorted, “that’s the rule.”
“Are you serious? You can’t just make up the rules as you go along!”
“Did we even read the rule book?”
The whole table burst into laughter.
Snakes and Lattes—a new cafe and board game house located just west of Bathurst on Bloor Street—is the only place I know where you can get into a serious and sober-toned debate about a board game. As I sat at the only available table in the whole cafe, I overheard the dialogue between the two players. Around me, gamers sipped cappuccinos and munched on homemade treats (try the Ningabreadmen!)
Snakes and Lattes is the perfect nesting place for winter. Come inside, order a hot drink, pick a board game, and enjoy.
“We started with just one game” owner and manager Ben Castanie tells me. Behind him, a floor-to-celiling bookcase is filled with more than 1500 brightly-colored board game boxes. Castanie and his wife and business partner, Aurelia, were inspired by the lending libraries in France. “In France, children can just borrow toys” they tell me, “so we figured, why not create a space where adults can [borrow games]?”
After two years of saving money, collecting board games, and working out the logistics of the company, Snakes and Lattes opened in August, and business has been booming since.
I visited the cafe on a Sunday night, and tables on both the main level and in basement were full. As I went to choose a board game, an employee asked if I needed a hand. He was tall and boyish looking, and I’d later learn his name was Jorin.
I had to ask Jorin if he loves his job. I couldn’t help myself: the guy gets paid to make lattes and teach guests how to play board games! As we sifted through the shelves of games, Jorin admitted he’s pretty happy.
Snakes and Lattes is open everyday from 11 a.m. to midnight. For more information, view home page here:www.snakesandlattes.com, or visit them at 600 Bloor Street West: maps?client=safari&rls=en&q=600+bloor+street+west&oe=UTF-8&redir_esc=&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=600+Bloor+St+W,+Toronto,+ON+M6G+1K4&gl=ca&ei=Jo0HTeTxA4zZnAeow8DLDg&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&ct=image&resnum=1&ved=0CBYQ8gEwAA