“Board games have a lot more to offer than Monopoly and Scrabble these days.
While the long hours at home and Zoom fatigue during the pandemic have contributed to a board-game boom, Philly was undergoing something of a renaissance in the genre even before COVID darkened our doorsteps. Here are all the places ready to pour you a drink or offer you a chair as you play one of your old favorites — or enter a whole new world of tabletop gaming.
When this Queen Village store opened its doors in 2019, it set its sights on becoming the “coziest game shop in the world.” These days, the 1,200-square-foot shop sells more than 400 games — everything from classics like Trivial Pursuit and Jenga to newer faves such as Splendor and Wingspan. The boutique hosts events nearly every night of the week, from open board-game nights, where guests can check out a selection from the shop’s 150-game library, to evenings dedicated to role-playing games. 519 South 5th Street, Queen Village.
Is it a restaurant with board games? A board-game shop with a full menu and bar? Whatever it is, we dig it — and you will, too, especially if you’re looking for vegan and gluten-free dishes to pair with your game. (Harry Potter fans will get a kick out of the drink menu, which includes non-alcoholic Butterbeer and a selection of “Wizarding” cocktails.) Throughout the pandemic, the shop has kept things rolling with a nicely outfitted streetery for outdoor dining and game play while making its massive stock of more than 1,000 games available for pickup or delivery. 607 South 2nd Street, Queen Village.
Operating as one-third of a combined goth and metal record store known as Reliquary, Dark Depths specializes in trading-card and role-play games such as Magic: The Gathering, Pokémon and Flesh and Blood as well as miniatures war game Warhammer. (PSA: They sell their entire in-store board-game stock and then some on an eBay store under the same name.) Fans can also join in-store gaming events — entering the online community via the shop’s Discord chatroom is the easiest way to stay up-to-date. 732 South 4th Street, Queen Village.