On a cool fall day, hunker down in the cozy retreat called The Fort and play a game or twelve.
Remember Duck Hunt? And when did you last play foosball? If you are feeling nostalgic for simpler days, and funky and vintage video and board games, visit The Fort at 250 Jubilee Street.
In one corner of the pink-hued cafe is an actual blanket fort where you can play virtual reality games. In another – a bar stocked with vegan snackables, including build-your-own bubble tea, cashew-milk horchata, and more.
Couches, quirky, animal-shaped pillows, and a private upstairs game room round out the teenage dreamscape.
Alcohol-free, this haven from your younger days is stacked with board games (from the Ultimate F.R.I.E.N.D.S to Scrabble), as well as vintage video games, Rock Band, Guitar Hero and more. You can play Mario Kart with friends, or opt for a newer solo game as well.
Meet up with old friends or make some new ones! The Fort has set up a Meetup Group on Facebook so game-lovers can bond with fellow folk they may not know yet.
This business grew out of owner Emily Lavender’s dream of “creating a space with everything I loved growing up. I was working like a regular adult, coming home to eat and do dishes, with no time for fun. Growing up here there was only bowling in town, so I wanted to create a community space where we teenagers and adults can add a little more fun to our lives.”
The Fort is not just a safe space for teenagers -- it is also a perfect place for a date night. Just ask the owners, Emily Lavender and Jannick Morency, who met at the Fort’s original location on Queen’s street over a game of Unravel.
“She made me a gift of Yarny – one of the characters in Unravel, a physics-based puzzle adventure game with two characters tied by a string,” Morency says of the early days of their relationship. “That was back when you used to win,” he adds.
“You used to let me win,” Lavender counters.
No matter the game you play, everyone can win by visiting The Fort, which is open from noon until 10pm weekdays and noon until midnight on weekends. Closed on Mondays. Entry is $10-$20 for unlimited time and access to video and board games available; $6 for unlimited access to board games.