We revisited a lot more of the old-school forms of entertainment during the pandemic because we had nothing else to do. Cruising the Ave., hitting the drive-in theater and board games all made huge comebacks. A business owner in Iowa City is parlaying the latter into a new venture.

What is a "board game cafe"?

Fans of Monopoly, Candyland, or Connect Four have a new place to get their game fix. Fortuna is dubbed as a "board game cafe". Justin Ford says it's a growing concept nationwide, and he has founded his own store, located at 105 E. College Street. For $6 you can rent your favorite board game or the one you've always wanted to try and play in-house. Ford isn't selling board games. There's Amazon, Wal-Mart, and other outlets for that. Instead, he's letting you rent and try them out for the nostalgia on a date night or family outing. It even comes with popcorn, candy, and peanuts.

Ford strives to make the concept better than playing at home

As mentioned, you can purchase board games from a lot of different places, probably cheaper than the $6 Ford charges you to get in and he knows it. But at Fortuna, you can try it and see if you like it before having a slew of boxed-up board games you don't want to play, cluttering up your house. The $6 also covers as many games as you want to play.

Fortuna opens this weekend

The soft opening takes place this weekend. The Iowa City Press-Citizen says hours are tentatively set for noon until sometime in the evening this Saturday and Sunday, and 7-11 p.m. weekdays. Staff will be vaccinated against COVID-19 and Ford says he's installing a state-of-the-art IQAir machine.

Sorry (not to be confused with the game, which he will have), but he won't have "mature party games" such as Cards Against Humanity.  Learn more here.


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