BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Jonathan Li owns the new Sip & Play board game cafe on Fifth Avenue near 10th Street in Park Slope. He hopes it changes what a board game cafe can look like.
"Typically they are small and cramped, especially in New York, the space isn't always the best. But at Sip & Play, the tables are bigger, the space is bigger, the menu is bigger," Li said.
Sip & Play has more than 200 games available from the classics to newer games. Folks pay $5 a person for three hours of games, $10 for unlimited play.
Li says the board game industry is experiencing a renaissance after taking a backseat to video games.
"It's becoming more popular now because everyone is thinking that technology is getting us away from face to face interaction," Li said.
Case in point, Charlie Mitkowski and mom Jessica Robinson, who are already fans, popped in recently to play a game called Machi Koro.
"You just build an empire on small little cards. So you guys will be here for like five, six hours? Eh, Maybe, maybe," Mitkowski said.
"I really enjoy having things that we can do together that we can both enjoy and definitely that are not on a screen," Robinson said.
I asked Li what new game I might enjoy, since my luck at the classics obviously has not changed after 45 years of playing.
"I would really recommend Splendor. Splendor," Li said.
It was just like being back in the Stuyvesant High School Cafeteria playing Strat-o-matic baseball. Most fun part for Li was shopping for all these games, though he has a confession.
"Some of these games I know they are never going to be opened, but I know because I wanted them on the shelf and I want to play in the future for myself," Li said.