Locals’ Cafe: A boardgame blend

Wall of available board games at Locals’ Cafe (Photo: Locals’ Cafe Facebook Page)
AMMAN —  Due to the digital age, face-to-face interactions have been occurring less and less.

Locals’ Cafe, a unique rooftop board game café located in Dabouq, seeks to create an atmosphere that brings people together by allowing them to enjoy both new and familiar board games.اضافة اعلان

The cafe’s idea was brought to life in 2018 by Hasan Elayan, Abdallah Basha, and Farah Basha.

“The idea behind Locals’ Cafe was not only to establish a coffee house but to establish a unique one and bringing board games to our project provided us with an atmosphere that cannot be found in any other coffee house,” said Ala’a Saleem Majed Rabadi, the manager of Locals café, in an interview with Jordan News.   

The manager added: “Board games help us to bring people together, people who want to go out and don’t know where to go can come to Locals’ Cafe as it brings people together for something they love. Also, they can learn new skills as board games have a variety of ideas behind them.”

Locals’ Cafe allows individuals of all ages (children are required to be accompanied by an adult who is at least 21 years old) to have fun by giving them access to more than 200 board games to choose from.
Even with the variety of games they offer, Locals’ Cafe is aware of the ever-evolving trends and types of board games available in the market.

To keep up with the board game scene and to ensure customers always find what they are looking for, they set up a service where you can contact the cafe and let them know what game you would like to play.

If it is unavailable, the cafe will order it and have it ready for you to enjoy as soon as it arrives. 

Beyond ensuring you always have the board games you would like. Locals’ also has its very own game master.

This game master is present in the cafe to assist new and existing customers in navigating board games they might be unfamiliar with.

The game master can make suggestions for games to play based on your wants, explain the board game rules, and make sure that you and your friends and family are getting the experience you came in seeking.

Locals’ Cafe is also an ideal place to hold larger gatherings.

They are able to coordinate events that accommodate a bigger crowd, such as companies, teams, or even a large group of friends.

They are able to recommend and provide games suitable for the group and cater the event with a small buffet.

While Locals’ Cafe is considered one of the first board games cafes to open in Amman, they were still concerned about facing difficulties when they started.

The idea of opening up a board game cafe when video games were taking the world by storm and considered one of the primary sources of entertainment for people caused them some fear, especially when it came to people choosing to enjoy board games over video games.

However, the cafe took off and was accepted by many; in fact, many now choose to go to locals to enjoy their unique atmosphere and services. 
The COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdowns that accompanied it impacted many businesses around the Kingdom negatively.

Rabadi shared that much like others, Locals’ Cafe was impacted, but since the ease of restrictions, their situation is slowly getting back to normal. 

Ghadeer Anan, a customer of Locals’ Cafe, told Jordan News that the cafe is different from other board games cafes in Amman.

She said: “When I visited Locals’ café for the first time with a group of friends the game master suggested the most suitable game for us and taught us how to play it.”

Anan added that what differentiates this cafe from others is the reasonable prices which are affordable and suitable for many of her friends and family members.
Anan also said that the board games brought her closer to her friends as they never played such games and had this much fun. “I have never played board games before. It was a great experience,” she stated. 

Maram Mohammed, another customer of Locals’ Cafe, told Jordan News that she is a big fan of board games and loves playing with her family because it helps them strengthen family ties in a fun way. 

“I have a collection (of board games) at my house, but when I visited Locals’ Cafe, I found games that I have been searching for but could not find,” Mohammed said. 

“Playing at Locals’ with my sisters and brother was a new experience as we are used to playing at home, but this place provided us with the best atmosphere you can imagine, and we will come back for sure.”

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