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Get your game on at Bonus Round
Bonus Round Game Café invited The Local Tourist to sample their board games, food, and cocktails.
For the past two years, one of Chicago’s most innovative and fun destinations has quietly built a loyal following in the East Lakeview neighborhood. If you haven’t yet visited Bonus Round Game Café then you need to make a date to check it out soon.
The space is relatively small, but large enough to accommodate multiple groups at any given time. They offer a full service entertainment experience, with a full menu of food, espresso, tea, and craft sodas as well as beer and wine. They have recently rolled out a craft cocktail menu that promises to be just as innovative as everything else they do.
More importantly for game enthusiasts, they have a curated game library of over 450 games to explore on your own. All of the staff members, or Game Guides as they prefer to be called, can make recommendations and teach if you want a little help. According to their website:
Our mission at Bonus Round is to be a welcoming environment for everyone to explore the world of modern board games without fear of judgment for who they are or what their experience level is with board games.
On my recent visit I had originally intended to take a friend, but at the last minute they canceled so I ended up going alone. I was concerned about going to a board game café alone, but I was happily surprised to find that they have a small but entertaining number of games that can be played alone. Not only that, but with the friendly nature of the regular clientele, it isn’t difficult to find someone who just might ask you to join their group. What a great way to make new friends.
The café menu is small but innovative. For the vegans out there, there are a large number of offerings. If you are someone who prefers gluten-free, any of the sandwiches can be made as salads, and there are a number of other gluten-friendly options. I recommend trying out the jackfruit BBQ sandwich. I had never had jackfruit before, and I loved every bite of this delicious sandwich.
With 450+ board games to choose from, there is quite literally something for everyone – from the hottest new games to all of your old-school favorites. I had a great time playing a timed “escape room” game that can be played with one player or a larger group. Be warned – the escape room games are not easy but they are extraordinarily creative and fun. If you are unsure what to play, the Game Guides are highly knowledgeable and can provide excellent advice and assistance.
In a city with so many options, it is always great to find something innovative that offers a unique and entertaining experience. Grab a friend (or a few) and make a date for a fun game night. During my visit, one of the most extraordinary things I noticed was a room full of groups, all laughing and enjoying the evening, with not a single smart phone in sight. In a time when we need to remember how to stay connected to others, Bonus Round Game Café offers a perfect way to reconnect and remember just how fun it can be to interact with your friends face-to-face instead of via digital methods.
Bonus Round Game Café is located at 3230 N. Clark Street. They are open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 4-11 p.m.; Friday, 4 p.m.-12 a.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-12 a.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. On weekends, they highly recommend making reservations as they fill up quickly. You can get more information on their website.