This entertainment café in Subang Jaya, Selangor has more than 150 selections for avid gamers – with tasty offerings on the side.
PETALING JAYA: Game cafés have been popular in Malaysia for a while now, drawing food and entertainment aficionados from all over. One such establishment, located at Subang Jaya in Selangor, comes with the apt and catchy name “Boards & Brews”.
This spot is run by Cheng Kel Veen, a self-professed “hobby enthusiast” – whether it’s board games, computer games, card games, or any other form of popular entertainment.
Indeed, game aficionados who drop by are bound to be spoilt for choice. There are over 150 selections, from role-playing games like “Dungeons and Dragons” to board games such as “One Night Ultimate Werewolf” and “Steam Up”.
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If you are a newbie and require some recommendations, Cheng said his staff will be more than happy to help. Looking for a group session with some friends? Go ahead and book the private gaming room!
Speaking with FMT Lifestyle, Cheng shared that he had entered the gaming industry in 2015 after taking over a gaming store from a friend.
Business, he recalled, had been slow at first as he had to rebuild the gaming community in the area while establishing himself as the owner. “There were many days when the place would be empty. I had to make many decisions on my own with nobody to advise me on what to do.”
It took him about half a year to get the place off the ground, and it chugged along until the pandemic came along several years later.
Faced with new challenges brought about by lockdowns and restrictions, Cheng knew he had to diversify. “I thought, why not try a hybrid concept of serving food and drinks alongside games?”
This was exactly what he did and, thankfully, customers were very receptive to the change. Last year, Cheng rebranded the establishment as “Boards & Brews by TD” – referring to Tabletop District, the original business name – and settled in its current location in Subang.
So, what draws customers to this joint? Apart from its cozy and inviting interior, gamers can spend as much time as they want here, with the only condition being that they order at least one item from the menu.
Indeed, if you do get hungry or thirsty during your hours of gaming, there are all kinds of food and drink to can choose from. French fries, onion rings and nuggets can help you keep your stamina up as you battle dragons or vampires.
For something more filling, go for the grilled chicken chop or a hot pizza, and wash it all down with a nice steaming cup of coffee, tea or even kombucha!
You can also purchase gaming cards from “Magic: The Gathering”, “Digimon” and “One Piece”, as well as other accessories like dice and keychains.
Cheng said he is glad to be able to support and make a difference to the gaming community, the majority of whom are young working adults and students. The café aside, he also does this by encouraging good sporting habits.
“The community consists of a lot of people, and not all of them are sporting or welcoming to newcomers,” he pointed out. “So we try to make sure toxic members don’t discourage new players.”
Asked about the perception that gamers are “nerds”, Cheng laughed, saying that while this isn’t entirely untrue, the community is “very mixed now, and being a nerd is no longer uncool”.
Furthermore, thanks to social media, many view gaming as a trendy activity that brings people together, he added.
As for his own all-time favourite game? For Cheng, it has to be the card game that made him venture down this road: “Magic: The Gathering”.
“It just turned 30 this year,” he concluded proudly.
Boards & Brews
5D, Nadayu, 28 Dagang,
Jalan PJS 11/7, Bandar Sunway,
47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor
Business hours: 2pm-11.30pm daily (closed on Mondays)
Contact: 017-402 5550