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Subject: Montreal's Pub Randolph is a must rss

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Jerome Cormier
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Wow! I went to Pub Randolph this week, and this place is a must for anyone interested in Boardgaming in the Montreal area. There's a huge boardgame collection where you can find some uncommon titles and even primeurs. What i really loved is that you can go there alone and be sure to find a game to join, as the Randolph's crew takes great care of initiating and coordinating games.
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Ken Thibodeau
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Is it free? How do you get there?
 
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Michel Condoroussis
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Here is the facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/randolphmontreal

and it is $5 to play for the day I believe.
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Jean Gagnier
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Indeed. They have beverages and the like. I haven't been able to go yet, but I'm really looking forward to it!
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Kaiwen Zhang
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Montreal's own Snakes & Latte?
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Gil Bellemare
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johncraven wrote:
Montreal's own Snakes & Latte?



That's pretty much it yes.

But the Randolph is also a pub, meaning they'll have beer too.
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Johnny
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bandini wrote:
this place is a must for anyone interested in Boardgaming in the Montreal area.


I think this is a bit of an overstatement. I popped in yesterday with some friends & a bit of free time, but the cover charge was disincentive to sticking around. It seems like a nice place and it's a cool idea, but we had a hard time figuring out why we would ever want to go there...


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Jean Gagnier
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-Johnny- wrote:
bandini wrote:
this place is a must for anyone interested in Boardgaming in the Montreal area.


I think this is a bit of an overstatement. I popped in yesterday with some friends & a bit of free time, but the cover charge was disincentive to sticking around. It seems like a nice place and it's a cool idea, but we had a hard time figuring out why we would ever want to go there...


Isn't the cover charge an incentive to stick around, actually, since staying for an hour or four has the same entry price?
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Johnny
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Ah, we didn't pay the cover, just looked around chatted with a guy who works there and left. And that's the thing, if there hadn't been a cover we gladly would have grabbed a table, a game, and a drink and hung out for an hour. But once a cover is thrown in, we were better off playing Liar's Dice at Foufs.
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Gary Walts
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Well, Pub Randolph is based on TO's "Snakes & Lattes". I've only been to S&L once, but let me tell you...I got to try out several games I was curious about, met other board gamers, and even met Chris Kreuter, co-designer of Epigo. Food was good and the music was both enjoyable and non-intrusive.Staff was amazing, and we just plain enjoyed ourselves there.

I will only have my first look at Randolph during the 7 Wonders tournament next week Thursday (I live in Vaudreuil so it's a little far for me), but if it's even half as good as S&L it'll be an experience worth 5 bucks a head.

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Kaiwen Zhang
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-Johnny- wrote:
Ah, we didn't pay the cover, just looked around chatted with a guy who works there and left. And that's the thing, if there hadn't been a cover we gladly would have grabbed a table, a game, and a drink and hung out for an hour. But once a cover is thrown in, we were better off playing Liar's Dice at Foufs.


I think it's true it's not necessary to play there IF you already own the game you want to play.

But this place also offers a huge library of games, so you might have no choice but to go there to play the game you want to play.

Cover charge is necessary since customers can spend hours there playing multiple games. If they don't buy enough drinks/food, it would not be sustainable.
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Jean Gagnier
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It is a must for anyone wanting certain things:

1. A great library of games.
2. People to play with.
3. A place to have a night out with games.

If you already have 300 games, have four people over at your house and don't get the general principle of why you should pay $4 at a bar for a Molson while you can buy the same one for $1.50 at the dep, it's not the place for you.
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Jerome Cormier
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-Johnny- wrote:
bandini wrote:
this place is a must for anyone interested in Boardgaming in the Montreal area.


I think this is a bit of an overstatement. I popped in yesterday with some friends & a bit of free time, but the cover charge was disincentive to sticking around. It seems like a nice place and it's a cool idea, but we had a hard time figuring out why we would ever want to go there...


I can understand that a group of, say 5 players, getting to the place together and planning to stay no more than an hour, might find paying a total of 25$ expensive. Yet, if you had stayed, you could have discovered/learn a new game ; maybe a game you would have lots of difficulty finding otherwise. You would have had the opportunity to play with new players (we could have met, I was there!).

As Gary (and Jean and Kaiwen) said, the whole point is to have a great time with "others" ; these others beeing great staff, great gamers and great designers (in persons or through their games).
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George Ramos
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Wait, is it $5 a day, or an hour?
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Jean Gagnier
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greekramos wrote:
Wait, is it $5 a day, or an hour?


A day - I think he meant that if you're only going to stay an hour, it's expensive.
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Jerome Cormier
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jgag wrote:
greekramos wrote:
Wait, is it $5 a day, or an hour?


A day - I think he meant that if you're only going to stay an hour, it's expensive.


That's what I meant (well not exactly, as I would definetly pay 5$ to play a single game with some good players I met there...); it's 5$ for the whole day and the staff is there to explain the games!
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George Ramos
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I'm definitely going to be checking it out. A few co-workers and I usually find a pub near the McGill campus for the occassional get-together. Pub Randolph sounds like just what we're looking for.
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cosined
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What's the address? I can't get to FB at work and I'm not finding it on GMaps.
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Jerome Cormier
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cosined wrote:
What's the address? I can't get to FB at work and I'm not finding it on GMaps.


Randolph Pub Ludique
2041, rue Saint-Denis,
Montréal, QC
H2X 3K8

514-419-5001
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Marc Lanctot
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Takezo Qc wrote:
But the Randolph is also a pub, meaning they'll have beer too.


S&L sells beer actually, just not on tap. Very nice to see this concept extend to Montreal. I'll definitely check it out next time I'm there.

With Monopolatte opening soon and The Odd Spot in 2014 (both in Ottawa), will Canada be the country with the most board game cafe/pubs in the world?
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Marc Lanctot
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-Johnny- wrote:
Ah, we didn't pay the cover, just looked around chatted with a guy who works there and left. And that's the thing, if there hadn't been a cover we gladly would have grabbed a table, a game, and a drink and hung out for an hour. But once a cover is thrown in, we were better off playing Liar's Dice at Foufs.


There was a thorough discussion about this when S&L first opened. Both camps seemed to be spilt.

The hardcore-gamer camp claimed that $5 was too much to pay and that they'd rather just play at home, at their weekly FLGS for free, at their low-cost con, or at their regular University venue (yup we do that in Toronto too!) The benefits were that it was free, and you got a body of the same people coming back, and why spend $5 when you don't have to, I already own the games I want to play, etc. etc.

Then there was the "$5 for a night of entertainment is worth it" camp. They compared it to how much you'd spend on a night out otherwise (e.g. movies, bars) and claimed that $5 was very reasonable in comparison, and the entertainment value was higher.

I did not participate in the discussion but I was skeptical and sided first camp -- hope my S&L friends don't read this! -- I honestly thought that the $5 was too high a barrier of entry and that it would be popular at first but then die down due to costing too much.

Let me tell you... I couldn't be more wrong.

What I didn't realize is that there's a HUGE untapped community of social gamers. It's a totally different audience. > 75% of these people want a fun night out, and board gaming is just the vehicle they take to do that. These people want a fun night out more than they want to play board games (e.g. at home), but when given their options of what to do when they're out, $5 for a full night of board games is quite a deal, especially since it's more engaging, interactive, and can make you think.

Sometimes it's not even about the money. It's about playing a game you enjoyed but no longer have access to (or don't want to buy because you'll play it once a year). I was there once and a group of 14 teenage girls game in to play Balderdash. They played one game, lasted about an hour or two. Then they left. The cafe made at least $80 in that 2 hours. I was amazed.

But.. you see what I mean? When it first opened most people at S&L play party games and classic games like Taboo, Apples to Apples, Bang!, etc. Slowly over time I've seen more modern and strategy games. I felt that it was a lot about education; people just didn't know about all these games. Their staff taught them stuff like Pandemic, Carcassonne, etc. and ran tournaments, and suddenly people knew about them. They've helped introduce all these good games to the masses.

Since there is a large board gaming community in Toronto already established before S&L, these people kept attending their weekly FLGSs and meetups. It's not like they all suddenly flocked to S&L. I myself I've only been there maybe 10 times since it opened. That's exactly my point: $5 is just the right amount. It's high enough so that the place is not too saturated (although, before they opened their basement and got the place next door, there was constantly a line up / waiting list which I found to be a real turn-off). Whenever friends are visiting, though, it's the first place I want to show them.

The other thing I really like about it (over weekly game nights at FLGSs) is that since I paid my $5, I don't have to feel guilty about using a place's space and never buying games from them. Also, the atmosphere is completely different; people there tend to be more social and want to have fun.. I find that there's less of the bad kind of focus/competition and certainly more game selection!

Anyway, sorry for such a long-winded response. I just wanted to give some perspective from the Toronto camp whose had access to a place like this for 2? ... 3? ... years and seen it succeed.



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Michel Condoroussis
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hello,

So I was there last night and had a good time. Note that the word pub may be misleading, not sure I saw anyone drinking beer or any alcohol for that matter (maybe they just don't have the license yet). The game collection is nice and the staff is very friendly, they actually do not want you to read rules and will happily explain all games. One major issue was the heat though, the air conditioning is not in yet and we were all sweating. When we left, it was a good 10 degrees cooler outside.

It is a great place if you are two or three and want other players or want to try a game you do not own yet or just don't have a location to play at. The place was packed and we had to play some large games on single tables, already tight on space and many of the tables are high with bar stools, which are less comfortable for some of the longer games I like, but this is temporary as the second floor is getting prepared (from what I hear). I heard that you can also bring in your own games, but that was not confirmed.

And I would agree with Marc's statement above. Most of the crowd was playing lighter games and we ended up playing with a couple that only really knew Catan, so this is a great way to bring new people into the hobby who just want a nice night out. I was there from 7pm to 11pm, and it cost me $12, so not really expensive versus a regular night out. I would not have my regular weekly group go there instead of my friends place, but that is not really the main goal of the pub in my opinion.

All that said, I will surely return since we met some great new people and played some fun games, two of which we had not played before and they were explained to us (in English or French). I would recommend checking it out to anyone and I hope it opens up our hobby to more people.
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Jordon
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Hello Fellow Geeks,

I have now stopped by twice with two different groups of friends in hopes the venue would lure them in and I could get my board gaming fix. Ha!

However, the lack of alcohol and the excessive temperature resulted us in spending 10 minutes at the door then choosing to skip it and leave, both times.

A/C could be easily adjusted/fixed and they said their liquor licence is on its way.

The only other barrier to me brining all my Settlers/Scatagories/Cranium loving friends there is the pricing structure. Sure $5/Person/Day is great value. However, this is really blunted as you bring more people. You would think a business would incentivize bringing friends but when theres four of you wanting to go try Battlestar Galactica or 7 Wonders then its very hard to rationalize paying $20 when the game is available for $30 to buy. Especially, when you have games at home already!

I checked out that Monopolatte's website and noticed they had 2 for 1 "Date Night" on tuesdays. Thats awesome. Monday is free night but I really think it would make the most sense if they charged per group or table. I think $5 for one or two people or $15 for three or four would be a much more logical pricing scheme.

I talked to the dude running the show there and he said things were still up in the air and getting sorted out. I hope to see some incentive added for larger (4+) groups.
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Jerome Cormier
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xJolt wrote:
Hello Fellow Geeks,

[...] its very hard to rationalize paying $20 when the game is available for $30 to buy. Especially, when you have games at home already!

[...] I hope to see some incentive added for larger (4+) groups.


One incentive they just added to their collection: [thing=1382][/thingRoyal Turf]


A rare, out of print game that really worth your $5... As it plays fast, you may continue your evening playing an only $30 value 7 Wonders... with a tournament champion!
 
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jay winner
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jgag wrote:
It is a must for anyone wanting certain things:

1. A great library of games.
2. People to play with.
3. A place to have a night out with games.

If you already have 300 games, have four people over at your house and don't get the general principle of why you should pay $4 at a bar for a Molson while you can buy the same one for $1.50 at the dep, it's not the place for you.



This perfectly explains the purpose of places like Randolph. For five bucks all three of those requirements are filled. If you need none of these, good for you, you've no need for such a heaven. But since that's not the case for everybody, I'm glad this exists.
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