What is a board game café?
The board game café concept has been popular in Asia for a few years now; customers visit the café and for a small cover charge (around $5.00 or so) they get access to an extensive board game library (which often runs into hundreds of titles) as well as food and drink options from the café. In North America, Toronto’s Snakes and Lattes has run with this concept and since opening in 2010 they’ve had lines out the door and a shortage of table space from all the people who want to experience this unique hybrid with a huge game library and good food in one location.
Why the Los Angeles area?
Los Angeles has a large and vibrant community of board gamers; it’s also a progressive and exciting place where people who are non-gamers are constantly on the lookout for new and unique activities. Although there are a few cafés that offer a small stack of board games (and according to the reviews on Yelp.com, these establishments often get customer raves for offering even a few game titles like Monopoly and Life), there has been no real board game-focused café in the area. GameHaus is poised to be the first true board game café in California, a place which offers hundreds of titles, game tutors and a great café space. This has the potential to become a destination venue as well as an “only in Los Angeles” story.
Why do we want to open a board game café?
We have been avid boardgamers for quite a while now, and as our group and circle of friends has grown, we've often lamented how there are so few "gamer-friendly" spaces in which to play - we were always amazed that such an enthusiastic boardgaming community doesn't have a premium space in which to share good games, good food, and good times. Game stores would have the space but not the food options - restaurants would have the food and drink, but would resent us wanting to "camp" their tables for hours at a time. So many gamers we knew longed for a fun, hip venue, where they could get something great to eat or drink while enjoying an evening playing and socializing over their favorite games. In addition, we've been avid pie-bakers for years, and most of our social events are highlighted by our latest homemade baked pie offerings, so it only seemed natural to fuse our two great loves of pie and boardgames together. And thus, GameHaus was born...
Where are we with this project so far?
We've been working on getting this off the ground for over a year now, and we've had many fits and starts, but we're finally at the stage where we are making it happen. We have a great team of talented individuals to work with, including architect Skyler Kogachi of Schism Design and bakery consultant Eddie Surman of Tasteful Cakes in Corona, CA. In addition to this, we've found a terrific space at Seeley Studios, a former furniture company that has become a historic resource in the city of Glendale and which has been recently converted to creative office suites, retail, and live/work lofts.
What's on the menu?
The menu for GameHaus will be a mixture of comfort food and coffeehouse fare - cold sandwiches, design-your-own custom hot paninis, grilled cheese, soups of the day, healthy salads, and assorted baked goodies ranging from homemade ginger scones to cakey soft chocolate chip cookies. Since Chef Terry also avoids red meat and poultry in his diet, we are well aware that healthy veggie alternatives are a priority with many, and our menu will provide a good number of options to accommodate fellow vegetarians. Plus, in working with bakery consultant Tasteful Cakes (whose delicious desserts have been the centerpiece of events hosted by celebrity wedding planner David Tutera), we will also be able to craft a varying menu of delicious high quality sweets.
But our signature dish is pie! We love pie, and much like Glendale's own (fictional) Mildred Pierce, we've been making pies for years now - in fact, every time we bring a pie to a party or gaming event, it's devoured in a flash. Everyone enjoys a nice slice of warm pie to go with a cup of coffee, so it's a perfect fit to make pie the signature dish for our café. From seasonal fruit pies like apple, blueberry, cherry, and peach, to custard and ice-box pies like chocolate pudding and banana cream, to savory vegetable pot pies that you can enjoy as a main course, we want our homemade pies to be the centerpiece of the our customers' food experience, something that helps to put us on the map. We even love pie so much, we've included it in our logo, as one of the three representative icons which we want people to associate with GameHaus!
Beverages will include all manner of coffee drinks - espressos, cappuccinos, lattes, and mochas, as well as hot and cold teas and fruit juices. Once we're up and running, we're aiming to get permit approvals for a Type 41 liquor license, and we hope to partner with California wineries and regional breweries to offer the best in locally-produced wines and beers.
What help do we need?
Fortunately, a good portion of this project is self-funded, so it's on its way to reality. But to make GameHaus a truly unique food and game experience, we need a little bit of help - any new business needs some contingency capital, and your support will help us in finishing out our kitchen and coffee bar areas, as well as covering additional expenses with regard to equipment and startup supplies. From the espresso machine to the panini press, these funds will help us to deliver a great-tasting experience when you come to visit us.
Ultimately, what we want to create is a fun and unique destination for our customers - enjoying good food and drink with family and friends in a comfortable, hip setting, while indulging in all manner of boardgaming fun - from childhood favorites to complex strategy games, and everything in between, all over a slice of the best pie in Glendale. We want to give everyone a great culinary and gaming experience at GameHaus, and we want you to help make it happen!
STRETCH GOALS ADDED!
We're overjoyed at the love and support everyone has shown this project, and we're thrilled that we met our initial goal within eight days. We wouldn't want to rest while we have our momentum going, and overfunding this project will only ensure that GameHaus will be that much better an experience. So, without further ado, we present our first wave of stretch goals!
If we reach the $10,000.00 level...we're throwing in some free stuff!
- For those who pledged $25.00 and above, they'll receive one GameHaus token for a free slice of pie at the café.
- For those who pledged $50.00 and above, they'll receive one GameHaus token for a free slice of pie, as well as a token for one cover charge.
If we reach the $12,500.00 level....we're doubling down on the first rewards!
- For those who pledged $25.00 and above, we'll upgrade the initial stretch goal reward to two tokens for free slices of pie.
- For those who pledged $50.00 and above, we'll upgrade the initial stretch goal reward to two tokens for free slices of pie, as well as two tokens for a free cover charge.
If we reach the $15,000.00 level...we're offering longer term passes!
- For those who pledged $50.00 or more, we'll include a Bronze Pass (non-transferrable) good for two weeks of no cover charge at the café.
- For those who pledged $100.00 or more, we'll include a Silver Pass (non-transferrable) good for one month of no cover charge at the café.
- For those who pledged $150.00 or more, we'll include a Gold Pass (non-transferrable) good for two months of no cover charge at the café.
So, if you were wary of pledging or were hedging on your initial pledge amount, these stretch goals will hopefully entice you into being a part of our project!
Risks and challenges
Ever since we started exploring the possibility of this venture over a year ago, we've become accustomed to setbacks and triumphs, highs and lows - from searching countless resources for a suitable space, to examining every detail in a lease document, to spending hours sitting in city and county planning offices. We've had our share of ups and downs, hitches, and glitches, but here's the good news - this isn't some flight of fundraising fancy by someone who hasn't done their due diligence or taken the necessary steps to open a new business - we've found our space, we've signed the lease, the LLC is formed, and the architectural plans have been submitted. We've laid the groundwork for this project through numerous meetings with accountants, lawyers, marketing experts, and contractors. We're past the realm of this being a mere idea - GameHaus is happening, and we'd love for you to be a part of it!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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