Watch out, world: Cards Against Humanity is getting into the restaurant business. And unlike its infamous game, the food is no joke.
Due early next year in the Bucktown building that houses Margie’s Candies (you know the one), the eatery is called Chicago Board Game Cafe, but its offerings—both food and otherwise—go far beyond board games and snacks. In fact, this will be the first full-service, full-fledged board game restaurant in the city, so it will be interesting to see how it’s received and if it inspires other concepts to follow suit. We’re talking eclectic, internationally inspired plates from an esteemed chef; craft cocktails; and beer and wine. All coupled with games galore, in the form of both board games and escape rooms.
For the creators of the notoriously raunchy/potentially awkward/endlessly hilarious card game, the concept of a restaurant was something they’d been tinkering with for the better part of a decade, out of a desire to further connect food, gaming, and theater and weave them all together in a fun social setting.
Fittingly, the food menu is inspired by the sidewalk cafés and markets (where folks typically convene to play games) of such countries as Mexico, Vietnam, and Spain. And the owners have brought on a chef with some serious culinary cred, as Aaron McKay previously worked at heavy hitters like Schwa and NoMi. Menu details are still TBA, but this bodes very well.
This being a board game restaurant, it operates a little differently than your standard dinner spot. Guests can reserve private tables with a $30 deposit, which goes toward food and drink purchases. Reservations also grant access to the “bank vault,” which is now a decked-out den filled with games that run the gamut from Monopoly and Scrabble to, of course, Cards Against Humanity.
And that’s not all! The restaurant will also boast two escape rooms created by the House Theatre of Chicago, providing a much more immersive gaming option, with rooms titled The Last Defender and Nova to Lodestar. The latter is a brand-new creation designed specifically for the eatery. Each room can host up to 16 people at a time, so bring your friends!
The Chicago Board Game Cafe is slated for a January opening at 1965 North Milwaukee Avenue.