Game café draws

(Photo by Aly Khan/SAIT)

(Photo by Aly Khan/SAIT)

Nestled in one of Calgary’s most popular and artistic neighbourhoods, the Hexagon Board Game Café brings an affordable form of entertainment to the
Kensington area. 

At a rate of $2.50 per hour, visitors can enjoy playing one of the hundreds of board games in the café’s library for as long as they choose to stay. Co-owner, Kellie Ho, compared the cost of playing board games for a few hours to a night out at the movies. 

“When you’re paying for tickets, drinks and snacks, it can really add up,” said Ho. “I think most students would find Hexagon to be a more affordable option.”

The café offers a student discount for all SAIT, ACAD and University of Calgary students. On weekdays, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., students who flash their school IDs can receive two-for-one coffees or a 15 per cent discount from the drink menu. 

Sylest Holzwarth, a regular customer at the café, said she prefers a game night at Hexagon over a night out at the bar. 

“It’s a much safer atmosphere, and has no unruly effects the day after,” said Holzwarth, who believes it’s an overall healthier option.

“Memories at the Hexagon Café are ones I’ll remember over nights out at the bar or the club,” Holzwarth said.

Sunnyside resident, Bryce Heemeryck, said he enjoys going to the Hexagon Board Game Café because it allows him to disconnect and have a great time with friends, without the distraction of phones. 

“It brings people together in a way that other activities don’t,” said Heemeryck.

“Sometimes it’s nice to enjoy a night out with your friends without feeling the need to check notifications or messages. Everyone has fun and genuinely enjoys each other’s company.”

For students struggling to get a group together to play board games, the Monday Night Mingle offers a great chance to socialize and make new friends. Charging a flat rate of $5 from 5 p.m. on, this weekly get together allows strangers to bond while playing any game of choice, including the popular strategy game, Settlers of Catan.

The interactive atmosphere doesn’t affect the customer’s alone, as each staff member is trained to make suggestions on games. Ho said that unlike other board game cafés in Calgary, Hexagon doesn’t have a designated “game master,” because each staff member has an extensive knowledge of the game library. 

“With our combined forces, we can explain any game to you before you choose to play it,” said Ho. 

Even if board games just aren’t your thing, the café operates as a regular coffee shop daily. Co-owner Randy Wong said that during finals many students come to the café to study or work on group projects. 

While the café’s house specialty drink is an iced London fog, Wong said that Hexagon’s participation in the YYC Hot Chocolate Festival has allowed them to serve a unique beverage – a hot chocolate topped with whipped cream, caramel and smoked bacon. 

This bacon lover’s dream drink will be available all throughout the month of February. All proceeds will go towards Meals on Wheels, a not-for-profit organization that delivers 1,700 meals each day to those in need.

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