Fun and Games in Ottawa

If you’re due for a family outing or an adults-only date, there’s a fun new alternative to the standard movie night or recreational swim. You can take game playing to a whole new level at the Loft Board Game Lounge.

Situated at 14 Waller Street, this place has 800 games in its library, plus specialty board game tables, and a food and drinks menu with table service. The bonus? There’s always someone on hand to teach you how to play a game if you choose one you haven’t tried before. Since the Loft opened in May, “people have been raving about the ambience, and the food and drinks,” says owner Mike Hopkins, who launched the venture with partner Alessandro Argentina.

There are games that will appeal to players aged three and up and there’s also a different sort of novelty that’s apt to appeal to parents, particularly those of teens. The Loft is not a tech zone. Quite the opposite, in fact. The idea here is to unplug and to socialize with your companions, rather than connect with a keyboard and a screen. And the local response has been excellent. “I couldn’t ask for anything better,” Mike declares.

He says people are choosing all sorts of games and mentions a long list of them, including party games, card games and strategy games. At the Loft, the most popular game with the 18+ age group is Cards Against Humanity.

The hot strategy games include The Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride and Pandemic. “Jenga is super popular, Mike says, adding Balderdash and Taboo also have quite a number of fans. A $5 Stay and Play fee is charged and you’re welcome to play as many games as you want. For details, see

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