A place for games

Golden's first game cafe opens downtown

Paul Albani-Burgio
palbaniburgio@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 5/10/21

With all the time spent at home, 2020 has been a banner year for board and card games. But if you thought vaccination might mean it was time to leave the games at home in favor of other social …

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A place for games

Golden's first game cafe opens downtown

Posted

With all the time spent at home, 2020 has been a banner year for board and card games.

But if you thought vaccination might mean it was time to leave the games at home in favor of other social activities you've been missing the last year, then think again: Golden just welcomed a new board game café that provides people with a more social environment to play games ranging from the class Monopoly to more esoteric titles such as Star Trek Ascendancy.

Ryun Valdez first fell in love with such cafes, where game enthusiasts can gather among like minds to sip on coffee and while away an afternoon over a board or deck of cards, while living in New York City.

That's where Valdez worked at a board game café called Hex and Company, first as a manager and later running the afterschool program.

“When we left, there wasn't really like it in Golden and so we really wanted to make that happen,” he said.

Valdez and his fiancé, Gabby Mann, opened their café, which is called Golden Game Guild, on May 3 at 1209 Washington Avenue. That space was previously the home of the Oh Susanna Vintage Photo Parlor, which is in the process of remodeling a larger space at 16185 South Golden Road. According to an April 17 Facebook post, the photo parlor is now planning to reopen inside that new space sometime in May.

Meanwhile, the former photo parlor has been transformed into a hub of board games, the crown jewel of which is a room in the center of the space containing a large “game library” where enthusiasts will find a myriad of games to choose from.

All of those games are open to anyone to play provide they pay the cafés admission fee, which is $10. However, children and students can get in for $5 Monday-Thursday.

In addition to the game library, there is also a smaller game store in the front of the space where board games are available for purchase. That's also where can find a selection of sodas and other drinks available for purchase, including three that are meant to feed the gaming atmosphere.

Those include a soda called dragon drool that Valdez said will appeal to Dungeons and Dragons fans and another soda that is meant to be reminiscent of the butterbeer from the Harry Potter series.

Gamers who work up an appetite will also be able to order food from the nearby Tributary Food Hall & Drinkery, where Valdez previously worked as a bartender on the weekends.

“Everything that you can order at Tributary we can order directly through their system and then we will go grab it and bring it directly to your table,” said Valdez.

Ian Farmer, who works at the shop, said he lived in New York at the same time as Valdez and is excited to have the type of café he enjoyed there in Golden.

“It's kind of cool to have a space where you can just show up and test out a game,” he said.

On May 6, three friends wer e in the cafe after driving up from Denver to check it out. They said they knew Valdez's brother and had been awaiting the shop's opening for some time.

“It's amazing and just kind of surreal to see it happening,” said one of them. “We are definitely planning to come whenever we have free time.

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