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The Cypress

The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

Enjoy a coffee and board game at Knight Moves

The Knight Moves cafe is described by coworkers as a cozy and expansive collection of board games for casuals and enthusiasts alike.

Cozy and eclectic, with knick knacks lining the shelves and lights strung around the walls, the cafe is filled with both charm and people who crowd around tables full of excitement and competition.

Knight Moves is a cafe in Coolidge Corner that opened in 2009. It functions like any other cafe, offering an assortment of snacks and drinks but, unlike other coffee shops, customers get unlimited access to a board game collection with a cover fee of $10 on weekdays or $15 on weekends. The cafe features an impressive array of over 1000 board games and an unconventional venue to play them in, which brings a unique experience to Knight Moves.

Customer Valerie Gautama came with her friends Sam Kitchens, Kaitlin Maxa and Jaclyn Pellegrini to play one of the cafe’s games, Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza. Gautama said that playing niche games was a newer experience, but it allowed her to connect with friends.

“I have to admit, I think growing up I didn’t play a lot of board games. I played the originals, the classic ones, like Monopoly and Uno,” Gautama said. “But games like these are a fun activity to do with other friends or family members. It brings a sense of togetherness.”

Barista Maya Dube said the cafe’s unique ambiance makes playing games there a special experience and allows people to socialize while partaking in board games.

“People are here and they’re bringing their friends. It’s very cozy. I feel like there’s something about this atmosphere that gets people to open up and be more curious about talking to people,” Dube said. “This cafe helped me meet so many new people. I feel like I’ve just learned so many stories about people’s lives from working here and I’ve met people from all over the world, from so many different backgrounds.”

After its sister cafe in Somerville closed during the pandemic, Brookline is the only remaining location. One of the main attractions that brings people in is playing the rare and limited edition board games, some valued at hundreds of dollars according to Dube.

Dube said that the cafe has catered to board game fanatics for several years, even bringing in some board game convention attendees.

“I’ve realized that board games have a cult following since working here, and people will travel pretty far to come to a board game cafe because it is unique,” Dube said.

The cafe’s entrance opens out to a front room with a counter where orders can be placed and ample seating for regular cafe patrons. Past the shelves containing countless board games and continuing further into the cafe brings one to the tables where the games are played.

Kitchens said that he appreciated the thought that went into the cafe’s decoration. and that it added to its game-related theme while playing.

“I love the cafe. I love the aesthetic, I love that the front of the cafe is shaped like a rook and they have a chess board right over there in the nook, so I feel like the decor is really cool. I love the microscopes, love everything,” Kitchens said.

Dube said that the cafe’s design was largely made up of the owner’s personal memories, each item bringing its own story and showcasing how Knight Moves is a cafe unlike any other.

“I always say it feels like you’re in a living room. It’s very eclectic and there’s a lot of stuff,” Dube said. “I don’t even know where my boss gets all this stuff. It’s just a very unique place because it’s very perfectly imperfect and it’s an honest place.”

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