Finally, the Board Room has passed “Go.”
The board-game-themed Dupont Circle bar opened yesterday after taking much longer than expected to secure its occupancy permits and liquor license. But now it’s up and running for anyone who wants to play Scattergories with friends after work.
Owned and operated by veterans of Rocket Bar and Atomic Billiards, the Board Room is an airy hangout, though the theme is immediately obvious: Bars are decorated with images of Mr. Monopoly or old Risk boards under resin. Vintage boxes for the Charlie’s Angels and Six Million Dollar Man games are mounted on the walls, and painted portraits of Clue characters hang in the stairwells. (The coolest touch, though, is a section of the room wallpapered with Parcheesi boards.)
While some games are just for show, the main attraction is 20 games that customers can rent for $2 to $5. The options are wide-ranging: Classics like Connect Four and Operation, interactive games such as Don’t Break the Ice and Jenga, and more cerebral games, such as Scatergories and Taboo. (Another menu of hard-to-find and collectable games, some going back to the 1930s, should be available this weekend.)
You pay the game’s rental fee once, and then keep playing as long as you’d like. (Not surprisingly, the games with more pieces, such as Risk and Mousetrap, are more expensive. The “menu” of games even suggests saving yourself some money by bringing your own deck of cards.)
While this sounds perfect for a laidback night with a date or friends, the Board Room plans to host regular Risk, Monopoly, Scrabble and Yahtzee tournaments, beginning in November, just to keep things interesting.
There are more than just board games, though: The two levels contain vintage video games, including Root Beer Tapper, a pinball machine, and sit-down video game tables loaded with dozens of arcade classics, such as Frogger and Burger Time.
Twenty beers will eventually be on tap – they’re still getting settled in – with Miller Lite at the low end and Dogfish Head and Firestone Walker at the top. (Drafts average $5 to $7.) A forthcoming cocktail menu will feature house-infused vodka and other spirits, but that’s still a little further down the line.
Happy hour, which runs daily from 4 to 7 p.m., brings $4 rail drinks, house wines and selected draft beers.
Tables and the downstairs bar filled up quickly last night, but here’s a pro tip: If you arrive and the place looks packed, make your way upstairs. While the mezzanine balcony looks small from the front of the building, but it actually can hold more people than the main floor, according to the bartender. You’ll feel like you’ve put a hotel on Boardwalk..