Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Play Lounge & Café Coming To Palm Springs This September

Nicholas on left , Matt on right
By Jonathan Bilski

Palm Springs needs a place where you can sit down and beat your friends at board games. Or have a game of Cards Against Humanity. Right now, it doesn't. But, in a few weeks or days of when this article comes out, it will. Play Lounge & Café is opening up and it's different from any of the other place in the area. I sat down with the owners to discuss what Play Lounge will have for someone who just wants to enjoy some board games with friends.
Greeted by Matt Irby and Nicholas Bannor (Manager), owners of this new paradise for old school gamers in the desert, I could see them bubbling over with excitement in wanting to just open. Play Lounge has been in the works since January. They tell me they plan to open early as September; many locals come back when the heat dies down in the area. 
Matt went over what the place will be like, "Our whole concept is, in the morning, it's a cafe.
So, we open at 6:30am. We have a breakfast menu and a lunch menu. And at four is when will switch to more of a lounge menu." Matt again, "There's a morning vibe and there's an evening vibe. So you can come in and have a coffee and maybe work if you want to for a little bit. And, then you can leave and come back around four and grab a beer with friends.You can come multiple times in a day."

He added, "We close at ten [pm] everyday. If you want to go out and party with your friends, you can start here and then go out. Nicholas adding, "This is a place to come and chill."

They are going to have a big screen projector for movie nights and what not, but nothing intense. And, plenty of space for people to enjoy game inside and out.

I did ask about Jackbox Party Pack being played inside and they weren't against it. I think Matt
and Nicholas want to see what works first and they have a lot to try out. They have forty board and card games in their library that keeps growing for patrons to play.
They'll also have convertible pool table inside. So, use it for pool or just as a table.

Outside, when it ain't so hot, they'll have Giant Jenga, darts, cornhole and other outdoor games to enjoy the evenings in their lovely outdoor area. It let's you look out on the main street and big fountain in front. And, of course, they'll have misters.

"The main thing is we don't want to do karaoke and bingo, which every other bar does",  Matt tell me as he wants the place to be different from every other place in Palm Springs. I say forgo trivia too.

Nicholas tell me, "There's gonna be a giant magnetic Scrabble board, so we might do tournaments or brackets." A Wall of Play was mentioned where people could put up Polaroids of them playing games inside too. They will be providing the Polaroid cameras, so don't you worry.

"Well, that wall, that whole wall is chalkboard actually", Matt tells me. So plenty of places to doodle and play games.

Be sure to go potty while there to check out the Life and Monopoly themed restrooms. Yes, the restrooms are game themed too.

And, other than regular evenings they'll have a Murder Mystery Night, four times a year. A wine and canvas night hosted by a drag queen and more events. They had ten ideas they want to try, but want to see how things start off.
Nicholas was saying he wanted a bigger budget for holidays so expect some fun for Halloween
and other seasonal special times.

Food and drink wise. If you're not after coffee from the cafe, you can get sandwiches and salads to sustain yourself and baked goods. At night you can get pizza. Also, for night eats, I learned that Play Lounge will team up with local bakeries and business for certain snacks for about a month. So. one month you might be able to get local cookies there and then it'll switch to maybe cupcakes.
For those wanting to get some libations. it's gonna only be wine and beer, but I was assured it was going to be a very fun selection of both. And chambongs for brunches on the weekend, so it might get a little intense then.

Matt's last day at Amazon has passed as of writing this, he wanted out. He was getting exhausted. He wanted to do something else. Matt got the idea for the place from his own life, "Every Tuesday, I never make plans, because that's my game night."  He started playing over Covid with friends out in the Palm Springs area and never stopped. 

Nicholas, "I'm the restaurant and bar side of this. I've been in hospitality for twenty years." He said he hopped on board and the duo behind Play Lounge was created.

Matt's game night crew has actually been helping him by testing out the place, the food and drinks that'll be on the menu.

And, they'll probably be there every Tuesday night to play with Matt again. If in the Palm Springs area and wanting to chill or grab a coffee or a quick game try the very new Play Lounge & Cafe.

2825 E Tahquitz Canyon Way, Bldg C
Palm Springs, CA 92262
6:30am-10pm Daily
Play Lounge & Cafe is yet to open as of writing this, but we'll update you when it is or check their social media.