When Scott Pepper moved to Boise from Austin, Texas, he noticed that it had a strong board gaming community, but was missing something vital. At the time, there were no board game cafes in the area, which are very popular across the country.
As a result, Pepper knew he wanted to open Boise’s first board game and tabletop cafe last September.
Room and Boards Cafe opened its doors three weeks ago and is already seeing success. Pepper felt that opening a business like this would serve multiple purposes to the gaming community or people looking to get into gaming.
“I didn’t feel like there was a place where people could go that were not necessarily non-gamers or people that are interested in gaming but aren’t really sure where to start, so I wanted to have a mutual grounds for that,” Pepper said. “This isn’t a store. We are not here to sell anything, we’re here to play games with food and drink and just have a good time.”
Room and Boards Cafe serves food, coffee, beer and wine to those of age, and also offers a discount to all students. The cafe has a wide collection of games and hosts weekly events to cater to all types of gamers.
“On Tuesdays, we are starting weekly pub quizzes, Geeks Who Drink. There are about 10 rounds, and they’re really tough questions” Pepper said. “On Wednesdays, we’re doing miniature painting nights, we’re going to also make this event a weekly thing.”
Pepper has already been in contact with Dungeons and Broncos on campus. The group is excited about this new feature to the community, and believes it will be a great space for both club members and gaming fans.
John Kiser, a senior GIMM major, is the financial officer for the Dungeons and Broncos club. Kiser feels that Room and Boards Cafe will be a great space for people to feel comfortable and open to expressing themselves.
“It’s really important, because these games tend to attract people who feel they want a safe space, especially in our club, there is a large representation of LGBT+ community members,” Kiser said. “Having a safe environment to be able to go, express yourselves and getting into role play is really important, so having a place like this in the community is really nice.”
Makena Pooley, a junior double majoring in communication and theatre arts, is a member of Dungeon and Broncos and is enthusiastic that the space is large enough for the events they want to host or game nights they want to have.
“Not everyone has a big enough apartment to have a full-on board game event,” Pooley said. “So having a place where you can go outside or maybe get a drink or two if you’re of age or a coffee or something and play these games at the same time is awesome.”
Tyler Qualls, a junior quantitative economics major, is the president of Dungeons and Broncos. For the club, Qualls explained that this new cafe will be a great resource when it comes to gaming, considering that gaming can be an expensive hobby.
“It can be very expensive to get into board gaming,” Qualls said. “It’s really nice having a place where you can go and use stuff they already have so you can know if you want to join in and a good way to try new things.”
With Room and Boards Cafe only in its early stages, Pepper has many ideas and a few goals he hopes to execute within the next year.
“I want to make it a place where people come to feel like it’s a good place that’s inclusive and inviting to all ages,” Pepper said. “With people being so focused on their computers and phones, I like the idea of having a place where people can come together and connect with each other.”