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Game On

Three East Bay Gaming Cafés


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At Berkeley’s Victory Point Cafe, select from hundreds of games to pair with locally sourced food and drink.

By Antonio Uriarte

 

Characterz Cafe and Coffee Roasterz

A group of geeks took over Pleasanton’s Coffee Co. last May, adding comic book figures to shelves and superheroes blasting through quaint wall murals.

Games: Weekly themed gatherings include card games, board games, and trivia, with most evenings ending in Cards Against Humanity or Dungeons and Dragons. A bookshelf filled with games is available for open play.

Grub: Coffee, Italian soda, and baked goods such as muffins, scones, and coffee cake are available.

Bonus point: Go retro with the café’s small selection of arcade games, including Centipede and AC/DC pinball.

5424 Sunol Blvd., Ste. 7, Pleasanton, (925) 462-5567, characterzcafe.com.  

 

EndGame Café

This 12-year-old game store in downtown Oakland was slated to expand in January to add its own café, meeting a need for eats at the store’s popular game nights.

Games: Magic, Infinity, and other weekly themed gatherings are in the works. Plenty of games are available to play, and the 2,500-square-foot retail selection ensures you’ll bring one home, too.

Grub: Grab a cup of joe from Berkeley-based Supersonic Coffee, plus locally made sandwiches, salads, and pastries.

Bonus point: The café will also host live music, improv comedy, and author readings.

921 Washington St., Oakland, (510) 465-3637, endgameoakland.com.

 

Victory Point Cafe

This modern space, which opened in September near Cal’s campus, offers access to its game library for $5 per visit.

Games: The collection of more than 800 titles is divided into categories, including nostalgia (Mouse Trap, Operation), party games (Apples to Apples), and strategy (Settlers of Catan, 7 Wonders).

Grub: Look for locally roasted Artís coffee, craft beer on tap, sandwiches, and themed snack bowls, such as the Cal Bear: Teddy Grahams, golden raisins, pretzels, vanilla-almond granola, and chocolate-covered blueberries.

Bonus point: Designer’s Night offers meet and greets with local game designers.

1797 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, (510) 982-6325, victorypointcafe.com.

Victory Point Cafe / By Antonio Uriarte

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