So i`ve been hearing some buzz about a new place in NDG, called Cafe Chimera. “It`s a coffee shop and you can play or buy games there!” “Oh my god you haven`t been yet, why not?”

Honestly i had no good excuse not to have visited the shop yet, it`s only a 10 minute walk away from my place. So my next time out doing groceries, I decided to drop in and have a coffee with my Scottish Boy. We pretty much immediately fell in love with the place. The design, the colors and the layout of the entire place, the general atmosphere and the tasty, dear lord it was tasty, tasty coffee. Oh and they have tasty as all hell chocolate and almond croissants, good god i wanted to eat them all.

You have cute D20 shaped tables in the front of the store, where you can sit to enjoy coffee, and there is a huge selection of games you can chose from to play while you are there.

The staff (all three times i`ve visited now) are all extremely nice and welcoming. I honestly didn`t think that was possible for baristas, but i`ve been proven wrong here.

I decided to introduce myself to the owner and request a sit down interview with him. He was very friendly and introduced himself as Phil “Bucket” Campbell. When i raised an eyebrow at the nickname, he laughed and explained it was a texting typo that stuck. I love it.

Yummy Latte

Tell me about this place, what is it about?

“Well it brings together two businesses, the coffee shop and gaming store. The idea was that people could enjoy a coffee and also purchase games, or just play the games here.

Unlike other places with the similar idea though, we didn`t want the focus to be pushing game sales as much, we want people to be able to come in pressure free to enjoy just a good cup of coffee, for example. We do want to encourage gaming, most of our staff are gamers actually, but we don`t want non-gamers to be intimidated.

My husband and i have always wanted to do this sort of thing. Back in Calgary, where we`re from, there was a gaming store that had a hot dog stand. We thought hey that`s great, but we could make it better! We also want to expand it and have it be more of a community thing. It`s Geek Friendly, and we want to make sure it`s recognized as LGBT Friendly as well. Our old gaming store had a little rainbow flag in the window too.”

 

Well that ties in to my next question, what kind of plans do you have for the Cafe, community-wise?

“Our first focus was to bring excellent coffee to the area, and promote social and family friendly games as well. Soon we`re hoping to host non-gaming things like possibly live music and such.

We`re also planning gaming events of course. One is kind of like an intro to gaming where we`ll have more experienced gamers show the ropes to curious people on different kinds of games. We do have staff game nights, to keep the employees up to date with them, but hopefully we`ll find volunteers who love gaming and will be willing to teach new-comers.”

 

Non-Gaming events you say? Have you thought of hosting art exhibits?

“…that`s actually a good idea. I hadn`t thought about art exhibits! There is the idea that people can rent the space below for functions. For example, we`ll be hosting the Yule Fair for Melange Magique this year. We really want to involve all types of interests in the community and not be typecast as gaming only. And then hopefully we can rope them into gaming hahah!”

 

What was your favorite game growing up?

“Oh gosh there are quite a few different ones… for video games i would say Baldur`s Gate. I spent a lot of time on that in junior high. In board games i loved a lot of the classics like Trouble and Sorry, and a bit of Magic the Gathering later on with my cousin. But mostly video games haha! Another one of my favorites as a kid was a reading comprehension game called Reader Rabbit.”

 

What about RPGs or LARPs?

“Oh yes! I never tried LARPing, but i am a big fan of DnD, some of the White Wolf games too. Mostly though i just love reading the manuals and getting into the lore of the games. Especially scifi. It`s like reading historical documents, but fictional haha!”

 

Do you have a favorite tea/coffee drink?

“Well the funny thing is i didn`t start drinking coffee until about 2 years ago! Mostly because i didn`t know there was good coffee out there! My parents only ever made goop like Folgers, it wasn`t until i moved to Montreal that i realized coffee could be tasty.

So i`d have to say my favorite coffee drink is a basic, straight up latte. My staff is getting better than i am at making it now too! But yes, i think the milk just sets off the flavor so well. We have a local roaster, Kittel Coffee, as well as Phil & Sebastian from Calgary. Both of our coffee makers are ethical, more specifically they are direct trade. So they work more directly with the farms, or through independent brokers.

It`s amazing how much there is to the coffee industry actually. I`ve learned so much about it since opening my Cafe. It`s interesting to see how many things will impact the flavour of the coffee along the line! You have the type of soil it`s grown in, the grind, the area that it`s roasted in, down to when the barista packs the coffee in the spoon thing for the machine? If it`s done improperly it can change the taste of the coffee!”

 

So there you have it. A charming Cafe in NDG where one can spend many hours enjoying many things. I strongly encourage you to visit, i know i`ll be going back often!

You can find them at 5768 Sherbrooke West

Call them for bookings and info at 514-508-0880

Email them at store@chimeragames.ca

Like their Facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/ChimeraGames

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