Worth the wait

City cafes get innovative,offer games and more to keep guests entertained as they wait for orders.

Written by Anjali Jhangiani | Published:March 15, 2013 2:03 am

City cafes get innovative,offer games and more to keep guests entertained as they wait for orders.

When Abhishek Dubey visited Thailand three years ago,he was rather uncomfortable with the idea of eating out all by himself. One day he spotted a bookshelf in one of the restaurants and picked up a book to read while waiting for his food to show up. The wait turned out to be fun and Dubey found himself visiting the same restaurant over and over again as the books kept him company over his meals.

Back home,Dubey developed on the idea and stocked up his cafe at Kalyani Nagar with books and board games. The guests at Cafe Colombia are offered board games along with the menu. “We don’t just cater to our guests by bringing them good food. When you go out to eat,you remember the whole experience. The guests need to be made comfortable so that they keep coming back,” says Dubey,owner of Cafe Colombia,whose cafe has a range of board games. He adds,“Back in the day,we never had mobile phones or PlayStation Portables. All we did for fun was play these games. In a way,I also want to revive that trend of playing a game face to face rather than playing online with an unknown opponent from some other part of the world.” The cafe lets guests borrow Scrabble,Chinese Checkers,Guess Who and more fun games when they drop in for a bite.

Like Dubey,who made books his companions over lunches and dinners while he travelled alone,husband-wife duo Tejas and Aziza Degwekar experienced something similar. “Eating alone is fine,but the wait till your food reaches the table is awkward. That is why there are a whole lot of games available at our cafes. From children to oldies who are regular in the evenings,everyone loves the idea of these games. They come here in groups and play or sometimes even start a game with someone sitting quietly all by themselves. Games also serve as ice-breakers that help make new friends,” says Degwekar,owner of Chai-The Way You Like It that has two branches. The first branch is opposite Super Mall on Salunke Vihar Road and the newly opened second branch is not too far away near ABC farms,both of which are as famous for their games as they are for their beverages.

Cafe Old School at Aundh also has a couple of games kept at the counter for guests to pick up and take to their table after they have ordered their grub. They also have two guitars kept near the entrance of the cafe,which can be picked up by the guests and played at the cafe. Many students and music enthusiasts are seen lounging around the cafe,borrowing the guitar,writing and learning songs and notes all day long. “My partner and I are old school junkies. I do not understand this EDM buzz which is a big thing among kids these days. The music played at the cafe is old school rock ‘n’ roll,jazz and that kind of stuff. The guitars are kept to encourage the crowd to go back to old-school genres and make soulful music of their own,” says Shripad Palve,partner,Cafe Old School. The television series Big Bang Theory inspired him to stock games in his cafe. “I am a fan and a regular follower of the series. The characters are almost always seen playing some game or the other while eating or just hanging out together. I figured that it will be a nice thing to keep games in the cafe too. I know everyone is stuck to their BBMs and social networking sites all the time,so this is a good change to bond over old school games,” he adds.

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