True game changers

True game changers

We can personally guarantee someone will score at these bars… but maybe not in the way you’re thinking.

By Candice Jackson | 17th October 2014

By Claudia Jambor and Candice Jackson

Get your game face ready, put down the phone and socialise the old fashioned way - with games!

We’ve been busy putting together a list of the brave (and awesome!) bars helping keep the non-electronic gaming and board game culture alive in Brisbane. Someone’s got to right?

So if you’re after a good time, head down to one of these bars with board games in Brisbane, order a drink (or two) and pick a game, but avoid Monopoly! We all know how that game ends… and it’s not pretty.

(DISCLAIMER: Playing under the influence of a few pints or spirits may be detrimental to your A-game)

Woolly Mammoth Alehouse

The Woolly Mammoth, The Valley

The Woolly Mammoth, The Valley

The Valley’s newest beervana is reintroducing board games back into the Brisbane night scene in a ‘mammoth’ way, with giant Jenga amongst the alehouse’s assortment of entertainment options. Release your inner child on the astro-turf and put your stacking skills to the test with their colourful take on Jenga or try your hand at their indoor bocce or their 14ft Hudson shuffleboard.

633 Ann St, The Valley
P 3257 4439

Scratch Bar

The Scratch, Milton

The Scratch, Milton

Board games and boutique beer, not a bad combination right? Scratch Bar seems to thinks so! The quirky Milton venue with a dive bar theme has a warm wooden interior, mismatched couches and a BYO food option (yes, that’s right!). This winning combination creates a relaxed and fun atmosphere for you and your mates to take the edge off after a long day at the office. Just grab one of their pre-loved banged up games located on the piano and play on!

Shop 8/ 1 Park Road, Milton
P 3107 9910

Junk Bar

Junk Bar, Ashgrove

Junk Bar, Ashgrove

Wedged between a formal dress boutique and a Chinese takeaway in Ashgrove, Junk Bar teleports you back to the groovin’ time of the 1970s. Immerse yourself in Junk Bar’s ‘Skukum Lounge’, which offers the perfect cosy location for some good old fashion board game fun with their old vinyl tunes providing the perfect soundtrack to it all. Their collection of old gaming classics (UNO, Scrabble, Cluedo and Backgammon, to name a few) work with the relaxed atmosphere and the retro 70s décor, featuring vinyls, vintage wallpaper, mounted deer heads and trinkets adorning its walls.

215 Waterworks Road, Ashgrove
P 3869 2311

Escobar Kitchen and Bar

Escobar Kitchen and Bar, New Farm

Escobar Kitchen and Bar, New Farm

New Farm’s Escobar feels like a fun-filled house party minus the clean up! Feel right at home in the retro renovated Queenslander and enjoy a scrumptious nanna style meal, including jaffles, while you brush up on your skills for childhood games. Let the good times roll with Escobar’s assortment of all your gaming favourites from Boggle, Connect 4, Trivial Pursuit, Scattagories, you’ll be kept entertained all night long. This place even made it as one of Style’s picks for the best espresso martini in town.

Shop 4/ 154 Merthyr Road, New Farm
P 3254 0788

Padre Bar

Padre Bar, Woolloongabba

Padre Bar, Woolloongabba (Image: Orion Zuyderhoff-Gray)

Newcomer to Woolloongabba’s bar precinct, Padre is on it’s A-game. The dive bar style venue serves as a much-welcomed escape from the hussle and bussle of city life. Setting a ‘speakeasy-esque’ atmosphere with dim lighting and grungy vintage interiors, Padre Bar makes it easy to relax over a friendly or competitive game with a mouth-watering selection of classic American diner food and a drink in hand. There retro gaming delights include Jenga, Jumanji, Olympiad, Trivial Pursuit, and 9's Wide World of Sport (circa 1988).

598 Stanley Street, Woolloongabba
P 3846 3945

Vinyl at The Hi-Fi Bar

Tucked within West End’s The Hi-Fi Bar is Vinyl, a place where you can share a tallie, order some delicious snacks or meals and wind down (or up!) with a board game of choice. You can pop in on a night where they have an acoustic set and enjoy some friendly banter over a game of Connect 4, Jenga, Backgammon or Battleship. For the more creative minds Pictionary may be the perfect selection.

123 Boundary St, West End
P 3010 6301

Southside Tea Room

Southside Tea Room, Morningside

Southside Tea Room, Morningside

Self proclaimed as Brisbane’s proudest dive bar by night and café cave by day, this quirky venue always has something going on, whether it’s exhibitions, live music, clothes swaps or a board game battle. Their extensive collection includes the classics such as Jenga and Scrabble, while their unusual selection includes The ALF Game, Perfect Match and a Ouiji Board.

639 Wynnum Rd, Morningside
P 3899 5859

The Mana Bar

So not technically like all the others on this list, Mana Bar is the first video game cocktail bar in the world and it’s right here in Brisbane! You can enjoy a drink along with a game on their Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 or Nintendo Wii consoles! They do also do a cards and board game night every fortnight, but you’ll need to check their Facebook to be in the loop for the next date.

420 Brunswick St, The Valley
P 3852 5965


Brisbane - Games Nights

Here are some other options for game nights held in Brisbane:

Victoria Park Bar & Bistro, they used to have purely Wednesday night gaming fun, but now you can come in any day or night and play from their selection!

Come down to King George Square’s Games Night on Thursday nights from 5pm to play an assortment of games, including giant versions of your favourites.

The four D4 & Grill’d burgers night in Fortitude Valley have three sessions left this year, with prizes up for grabs for entrants.

Don’t have the board games but have the passion, company and the wine? GO Lounge in Stones Corner offers a games night any night, with the option to use a selection of their 200 games while you provide your own wine.


So what did you think of our list? Are you game?


View mag here >

Article by Candice Jackson

Candice Jackson is a former Journalist of Style Magazines. She has an uncontrollable sweet tooth, an irrational fear of birds and a love of travel. Candice believes in the Yes Man Philosophy.


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