Behold the game-tastic interior of the Board Room, opening any day now in Dupont Circle with vintage board games galore, classic arcade games, 21 beers on draft, and their own infused bourbon. Plus, oh yes, a game-themed design that turns Monopoly into a bar top and incorporates portraits of characters from Clue and Operation to make the place feel like home. As co-owner Beth Lindsay explains, after spending 19 years in the industry, she wanted to create her own ideal hangout bar.
Sure, offering board games in a bar is nothing new, but the Board Room has gone all out. Not only is there a selection of about 20 everyday options of mainstream board games like Hungry Hungry Hippos, Mousetrap, Sorry, Risk, Taboo, Yahtzee and more, but they've also got a more select stash of vintage games that date from the 1930s onward, like a 1978 football game and an old Erector set, a result of the past two years in which the owners "have really gone a little crazy on eBay," Lindsay says. Those vintage games will require advance reservations.
And yes, as has been noted, the Board Room will be charging between $1 and $5 for board game rentals with the intention to use that money for upkeep and replacement fees since "if you charge a small fee, I think people respect it more." But, Lindsay says, if people surprise them by being careful with the games, the rental fee could go away — and they're planning to be realistic about damage to the games: "If you spill a beer on something, that's fine, that's just the cost of doing business."
For people who like video games, they have mostly '80s games like pinball, Frogger, Donkey Kong, Pac Man, Super Mario Brothers and those will be available for 25-50 cents a play.
There's no real menu here aside from bar snacks like Andy Capp's Hot Fries, but the Board Room encourages patrons to bring in food from neighboring restaurants. As for drinking, there are 21 beers on tap, including DC Brau, Shiner Bock, and Bells Oberon, served in pitchers and glasses, plus beer in bottles and cans. They'll also be infusing their own bourbon and vodka seasonally, and offer five signature vintage game-themed cocktails such as the Pac Man-inspired Clyde and an adult cherry coke. Happy hour will run daily — yes, weekends, too — from 4-7 p.m. with $4 rail cocktails, red and white house wine and select beers.
As for the design, local artist Kay Christy was in charge in the Board Room's look, which features iconic Monopoly images on the bartop, a grandma's house-style family portrait wall on the stairwell featuring portraits of Colonel Mustard, the Operation guy and other game figures. On the second level, they've got a War Bar made out of Risk boards with soldiers embedded into the bar, plus lots of other game-inspired touches throughout the rest of the bar — a "unisex" bathroom sign made of Scrabble tiles, for example.
Even though they've hired an expeditor and are ready to go, the bar still needs two inspections to open — so if that happens today, it's possible the Board Room could open tonight. Stay tuned.