Fredericton — A number of dining establishments in the downtown area are now formulating their reaction to a potentially game-changing new business that is set to open next month.
Announced in late 2014, the site of the former Cedar Tree Café will be renovated and reopened as “Unplugged A Board Games Cafe,” offering a TBA menu and an assortment of classic and obscure board games that individuals can enjoy for a nominal cover charge. Boasting a large library of titles, the business is taking its cues from similar establishments that have been popular in various larger city centres throughout the country.
Ecstatic to only be a few years behind a trend, the news about the new café soon exploded on both social and local media. Many Frederictonians seem to be excited about the impending opening and have already expressed interest.
In an effort to stay relevant, many of the existing restaurants and cafés in the vicinity are making slight alterations to their practices. Some of the more notable changes include:
The Blue Door will be replacing their placemats with Bingo cards and will have a live caller throughout the day;
Mexicali Rosa’s will be sectioning off a portion of their patio and will hold full-scale football (North American soccer) matches with mandatory participation by patrons;
Relish Gourmet Burgers will now only accept orders placed via charades;
The Snooty Fox has always had an ongoing game of Twister in the entryway, but the popular pub will be placing a spinner on the back of the door to finally make it official;
Chess Piece Patisserie is reportedly unsure of what to do and unable to find any inspiration;
Tim Hortons will begin charging a cover fee for entrance into their King Street location. They will also be partnering with the Atlantic Lottery Corporation to offer the sale of pull-tab tickets. Assistant shift manager Jarod Kane said these changes were already on the horizon, but until now, the timing wasn’t right. “Corporate has always been trying to find a way to monetize loitering, and we are happy to report back to them that we think we’ve figured it out,” beamed Kane. “Usually people only win $1 or $2 on those pull tabs, so we expect them just to turn around and spend that on more coffee.”
Not everyone is on board with this new wave of potentially awkward forced social interactions. A number of the city’s more introverted residents are quietly voicing their anger about the changes. Though unable to secure an actual interview with any of the reclusive citizens, The Manatee was able to construct a usable set of quotes by selectively pulling comments from an anonymous Internet message board titled: “Fredricton” (sic).
“Why can’t we just have a normal coffee shops (sic)?” remarked a poster named Anonymous. “I just want to sit they’re (sic) and play games (sic) on my phone in silence (sic).” This sentiment was shared by (presumably) many others on the message board. One poster, also named Anonymous, did offer a type of solution. “Yes, that is an interesting point. Did you know that you can make $$$$$$$ at home?! Go here to find out www.surveydallarz.biz/signup.php.”
Unplugged A Board Games Cafe is targeting a late-February opening, and if these new, more interactive experiences become the norm, the future for downtown Fredericton could be anything but “board-ing.”