Photo credit Neil Santos.
A South Philadelphia board game cafe is moving to a new location, more than tripling its space and adding new menu items, a retro arcade and two outdoor areas.
Queen & Rook Game Cafe plans to relocate to 123 South St., the former home of Pietro’s Italian, in the late summer or early fall. It will continue to operate in its current space at 607 S. 2nd St. until the new location opens less than a block away.
Co-owner Edward Garcia said the cafe, which opened in September of 2019 and offers 1,300 board games, expects to double its revenue at the forthcoming location. He believes the added features will help Queen & Rook appeal to a wider audience seeking both a dining and entertainment destination, similar to the various golf and bowling concepts throughout the region.
“We fit into that space in the same way, where people are looking for something that’s affordable, easy to get into, and a way to spend a few hours with some friends,” Garcia said.
Queen & Rook began considering a new location after reaching capacity and having to turn customers away many nights. When the city changed its outdoor dining regulations late last year and Queen & Rook lost the extra seating its streetery provided, the search began in earnest.
Garcia and his co-owner Jeannie Wong signed a five-year lease at the new space earlier this year.
Minor renovations are currently underway at the new location with an expected cost around $250,000. The expansion is being funded by loans and investors who are family and friends of the business.
The South Street location will increase Queen & Rook’s physical footprint from around 1,700 square feet to 5,500 square feet. With this expanded space, the concept will almost triple its seating, going from 100 seats at its current location to around 350.
Originally published by the Philadelphia Business Journal.
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