Board games, night life, the internet and beer. These things may not seem like pieces of the same puzzle — yet they all come together to form one of Long Island’s more playful theme nights.
The first Wednesday of each month, a small but spirited crowd gathers at Destination Unknown Beer Company (DUBCO) in Bay Shore to spend a few hours doing something old-fashioned: talking and playing (non-video) games.
Forget chess, Monopoly and other standards — the fare here includes the antediluvian civilization-inspired contest Seven Wonders, as well as The Resistance, an identity-deducing scrimmage.
“People are really communicating here, disconnecting from social media, getting together and having fun,” says Elise Sylvester of Ronkonkoma. So much so that the 30-year-old sales and marketing rep uses a system of texting, phone calls, emails and social media posts to alert other regulars what she’s bringing for play each month. On this night, it’s San, Ni, Ichi, a ninja-themed card game.
“It takes five minutes to learn, requires putting your cellphone down and paying attention,” Sylvester says. “But at the same time, you meet new people and have great conversations.”
Mike Sorrentino, a 28-year-old associate editor from Medford, is one of the newbies. He doesn’t know anyone, so he introduces himself as the cards are dealt and chatter begins.
“This is great,” he says later, shifting his cards to sip his Eleanor Black, a dark IPA brewed by Destination Unknown. He’s a self-avowed member of the adult board game playing culture, a small but dedicated niche. “There are a pretty good amount of us out there, and if you want to try new games and meet new people, nights like this are a good way to do that,” he says.
Sylvester, meanwhile, sips a Tripel Rainbow Belgian brew. “It’s great here. . . . I meet new people every time we do this.”
Brewery owners Chris Candiano and Bradley Finn say the monthly game night has given them weekday business they didn’t anticipate. “We don’t normally open on Wednesdays,” Bradley explains. The game night has even prompted them to commission food trucks to park outside and serve during play.
The original idea for a game-centric gathering at a brewery came from the creators of No Ordinary Obsession, a Suffolk-based podcast and blogging group focused on — you guessed it — board games and beer.
It was their perfect idea of a night out. Says one of the organizers, Rob Cubbon, 32, of Moriches, “It had to happen.”
BOARD GAME NIGHT
WHEN | WHERE: 6-9 p.m. first Wednesday of the month at Destination Unknown Beer Company, 1 S. Chicago Ave., Bay Shore
INFO: 631-485-2232, destinationunknownbeercompany.com
OTHER GAME-FRIENDLY VENUES
Sip This (64 Rockaway Ave., Valley Stream): A coffeehouse that hosts frequent trivia nights and comedy shows; guests can grab one of several board games available to customers for play anytime. More info: 516-341-0491, sipthisny.com
Black Sheep Ale House (78 Second St., Mineola): Establishment specializes in craft beer. There’s a game wall at the end of the bar that holds a number of board games (also where you can grab a free, self-serve hot dog). More info: 516-307-1280, blacksheepalehouse.com