Board game café chain got its start in the Annex
Topher Grace, of That 70’s Show, is a fan of this neighbourhood fave
The first of three locations that opened up across Toronto, Snakes & Lattes, a quirky board game café, has been focusing on fun and social interaction since 2010. General manager Steve Mahood spills the (coffee) beans on how they get people to put down their phones and play IRL.
You have a game guru on site helping patrons. What’s that?
They’re effectively game sommeliers. They come over to your table. They ask you what kind of stuff you like, what kinds of mechanics you might be interested in. Do you want to stab your friends in the back? Do you want to know more obscure words than them? They do a whole sort of triage process of figuring out what kind of game to play, come back at you with a few suggestions, and then will sit down and teach you how to play.
Describe your vibe.
I would say the vibe is relaxed. During the day, it’s very much a community space. People come in, and maybe play games or maybe just do office work on their computers, have a nice coffee and kind of relax. In the evening, it gets a bit more raucous, what with Uno and Jenga being out on the tables. Everyone is generally laughing, having a good time.
Which games are jumping off the shelves?
Cards Against Humanity has been a perennial sweetheart in terms of games to play and purchase. Exploding Kittens is a bestseller.
Any famous celeb customers?
We’ve had Justin Roilland [cocreator, and voice] from Rick and Morty, Topher Grace [ That ‘70s Show] has been in before, Mark Pellegrino [ Lost] has been in. Everyone came in and sat down and played some games. We do our best to make them feel a little bit incognito. We try not to make too big a deal out of it (600 Bloor St. W., 647-342-9229).
Patrons can enjoy a rousing game of Cards Against Humanity here