Tucked away in a historic building on a narrow street of Greenwich Village, surrounded by antique chess shops and themed bars, is The Uncommons, New York City's only board game cafe. Their motto, "We take fun seriously," couldn't be more accurate, as they obtain the largest library of games on the East Coast.

This means you can expect to find all the classics like Settlers of Catan, Monopoly, Cards Against Humanity, etc., but also titles you've never heard of before. The establishment is based on a concept that is as old as the creation of board games themselves: providing a social space built on interaction, consumption, and play.

The Vibe is Comfy and Communal

coffee, beer, tea
Julia Rosenbaum

With a seating limit of 65 and a private room in the back, this board game cafe is incredibly intimate. It will be tempting to look over your table neighbor's shoulder to see what game this complete stranger is playing. With creaky wooden floors and small doorways, this snuggly place feels like it came out of an old story book.

Playing is Ridiculously Affordable

cheese, tea, beer
Julia Rosenbaum

Instead of charging per hour, this board game cafe allows you access to their 750+ games for as long as you want at a per-person flat fee of just $5 on weekdays and $10 on weekends. They are also one of the largest game stores in Manhattan, so if you need to buy a gamer a present, this is the place to go. They specialize in new and indie titles, but also provide a plethora of party, strategy, and co-operative games. 

And Now for the Eating!

Julia Rosenbaum

Of course, one of the best parts of this board game cafe hybrid is the fact that they serve food and drink! Aside from their fine collection of candy, chips, and soda, they are also pretty serious about their coffee and beer. For their hot coffees and teas, they've got a wide range of flavor options such as pumpkin pie, maple, and caramel. 

Their booze menu is hefty, and they've even got smoothies for those who want something cold and sweet. Their food selection consists of ideal gaming snacks: pigs in a blanket, chicken strips, personal pizzas, mozzarepas, and sugary pastries.

There's Always Something Going On

tea, cake, beer
Julia Rosenbaum

The cafe hosts events and tournaments regularly and has an online calendar that lays it all out for you. This means that you can come with friends, or, if you're feeling bold and in the mood to meet some new people, by yourself! They also have this guide on the bathroom door for choosing the perfect board game in case you're overwhelmed by the stacks of choices. 

Interview with Peter and Mia

pizza, beer, coffee, tea
Julia Rosenbaum

The two people behind the counter, Peter and Mia, were nice enough to let me interview them about the cafe. 

Julia: What makes this place special? 

Peter: There actually aren't a ton of options to get together with your friends. Going to see a movie doesn't really count as interacting with another person, and drinking becomes the default in a bunch of situations when it really shouldn't be. This cafe gives you a cheap, easy way to connect through other means. 

Mia: Best first date ever. There are actually a lot of red flags when you play games. Is this person too competitive? Not competitive enough? It's a good way to weed out the losers. And by losers, I don't mean people who are bad at a game; I mean bad at being compatible with another person. You know what I say? If you're compatible in a game, you're compatible in life.

Peter: Board games are an art form that is super vibrant and original. If you're interested in video games, and you haven't explored this medium yet, you really should. You'd be surprised by how creative it is.

So, if you're looking for a new way to spend time with your friends in NYC or maybe a way to meet new people and bring this large city into a communal setting, this board game cafe could be the place for you.