By Meda Kessler
Photos by Ron Jenkins

We admit that when it comes to board games, we’re still stuck in the Monopoly-Scrabble era.

But we’re fond of cool cocktails and unusual snacks while we plot our property buys or triple-letter wordplay.

At Game Theory in Fort Worth, with a library of over 500 games, there definitely are more options than the classics, plus some serious drinks and eats.

Founders and married couple Patrick Lai and Erika Ramos both have backgrounds in the financial world (Ramos still has her day job) but are thrilled to open a business that plays to their passions. Their travels have taken them around the world, where they visited game lounges that had a neighborhood vibe and doubled as community gathering spaces. In particular, one in Toronto made Lai think hard about making this happen close to home (he grew up in Keller, and Ramos is a Fort Worth native). A concept was born, and the couple eventually found a raw space in the rapidly growing South Main Street corridor for their new business.

Isaac Brown and dad Edward while away a hot afternoon. Kids of all ages are welcome.

Lai’s younger brother, also a board game aficionado, has helped them with inventory. Game Guides are available to help make selections, explain rules and set-up and answer any questions — so be adventurous and choose something new.

Lai has worked on the evolving menu, which consists of beyond-bar-food fare such as Firecracker Chicken nuggets with a house-made ranch dipping sauce, the Viet Philly cheesesteak mini pot pie, and a grilled Laotian sausage topped with pickled red onions and green curry aioli.

Adam Hoang, a former bartender at The Joule hotel in Dallas, has developed a nice cocktail menu, which also includes craft beer and cider from next-door neighbor Locust Cider.

Game Theory is family friendly, a great option for office gatherings and an out-of-the-box choice for date night. There are no flat-screens, and the music doesn’t overwhelm the experience. Oh, and you’re welcome to eat and drink there even if you’re not a gamer. Win-win.

THE DETAILS

Game Theory A board game lounge featuring more than 500 games, a full bar and kitchen service. A private game room is available for rent. It’s plastic only (no cash), and you can run a tab on games ($5 per person for unlimited play; kids 7 and under play for free) and food/drink.
804 S. Main St., Fort Worth, gametheorytx.com.