I don’t have the numbers to back this up, but I suspect we have as many coffee shops in Fort Collins as we have overcast days in an average year. That’s a fitting correlation, because a coffee shop is a perfect destination on a cloudy day. Warm drinks, a caffeine buzz… I credit the Pacific Northwesterners and their perpetually gray weather for spreading coffee culture far and wide, and we’ve certainly embraced it in our neck of the woods.
I’m willing to bet, however, that there is only one place in town to sip coffee in a year-round Halloween party atmosphere, and place that is The Haunted Game Cafe game store and coffee house. My son and I stopped in on Monday afternoon (Yes, gray. Yes, cold.) to discover what the café is all about.
So, here’s the thing—I’m prone to preconceived notions (which are often wrong), and I thought the place would be…strange. I don’t know why, but I envisioned dusty shelves, sticky floors, maybe an unidentifiable smell. Sort of a grandma’s-stuffy-attic-meets-dank-stockroom ambience. And, wow, was I pleasantly surprised. The café is clean and bright, the walls are remarkably purple—in a good way—and the spooky theme is fun and not at all disturbing. Yes, Addams Family. No, Bates Motel.
The menu is fun, too. I was nearing my coffee limit for the day, so I opted for the spicy ginger chai latte instead of the signature Vampire’s Kiss raspberry mocha. Zombie Virus is the custom coffee blend. As a frequent drinker of decaf, I’m going to return for the sole pleasure of ordering a cup of Embalming Juice. The café also serves a variety of intriguing teas and frozen drinks. My son gave his four-berry smoothie a solid thumbs-up.
The other reason to visit The Haunted Game Café is, of course, for the games. The store’s variety of games and gaming accessories goes well above and beyond the standard Toys-R-Us offerings. Ditto the selection of open board games which are available to play in the café. No four-dice Yahtzee or dog-eared decks of Old Maid here, my friends. (Check the website for a list of available games.)We started with Wyatt Earp, realized we wouldn’t have time to finish, and, after a quick tutorial from proprietor Gary, tried our luck at Gloom—a must for anyone who appreciates a little dark humor.
Fridays are board game nights—bring your own game or play one of theirs. The café also hosts leagues for Dungeons and Dragons (which I will forever associate with the Tom Hanks made-for-TV movie from the early ‘80s) and Magic.
Find The Haunted Game Cafe in the strip mall west of Red Lobster, near All Sweets Confections, where I took my around-the-world candy tour for Week 22. And happy gaming!