PROVO — It’s game time for Good Move Cafe in Provo and not just because the doors opened for the first time on Oct. 18. Located on the corner of Center Street and University Avenue, the chic new restaurant serves not only classic comfort food, but a side of Apples to Apples, as well.
On second thought, make that a helping of Candyland.
Board game cafes have met wide success across the globe in recent years, said Good Move Cafe owner Shawn Moon. From Los Angeles to New York City to Beijing, the trend has been a welcome relief in a day and age that grows increasingly digital.
“People are overdigitized and there’s a little bit of craving for social interaction,” Moon said. “You don’t have to try with board games. It just happens naturally.”
That natural interaction comes in all shapes and sizes, including a life-size Jenga and Connect 4 — nevermind the monotonous wait before a table opens up — all available out in the open for customers to play. And the giant Scrabble board with magnetic pieces, located in one of the semiprivate rooms, brings vocabulary games to a whole new level.
“I love seeing these people get together and have a good time, just laughing and yelling at each other and having fun,” Moon said.
But Good Move Cafe isn’t just about the games, although there are over 600 varieties for customers to choose from. Good food is also on the menu, something Moon felt was lacking at other board game cafes he’s visited. So, whether you’re in the mood for a Battleship Burger, a Grilled Parcheesi or Go Fish! And Chips, you won’t be lacking in sandwiches and entrees to choose from.
With its slate-gray interior and sleek low couches, the restaurant has a comfortable, yet modern feel that fits right into the twinkle-light atmosphere of downtown Provo. Plus, board game-inspired art and salt and pepper chess pieces are sure to appeal to hobbyists and enthusiasts alike.
“We were going for something that was fresh and fun and kind of new and modern, but we also want it to be relaxed and inviting,” Moon said.
An informal environment is key to a place like Good Move Cafe, where patrons choose whether they’re in the mood for games, food or both. Members of the staff are also on hand to give game recommendations. Although a $5 fee is required to play, there’s no time limit to how long customers can stay, and discounts are available for those who order items from the menu.
“Our business model is such that we know that there’s going to be people there for a longer period of time than at a regular restaurant,” Moon said. “It’s a no-pressure environment in terms of we don’t try to move you through. We wanted to be somewhere where people felt really comfortable.”
If you go ...
What: Good Move Cafe grand opening
Where: 1 Center St., Suite 100, Provo
When: Saturday, Nov. 4, 11 a.m.-midnight
How much: Special giveaways will be offered as part of the grand opening. Regular prices range from $6.99-$12.99 for salads, flatbreads, sandwiches and entrees. Appetizers and snack assortments range from $4.99-$9.99.