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Tabletop Game Cafe Opening In Mandarin

Board game enthusiasts can enjoy a fresh cup of coffee Saturday at the grand opening of a new cafe exclusively for tabletop games in Mandarin. The soft opening of Java Game Haus two months ago brought president Joe Hausen and his friends’ love of coffee and board games together.

“We were sitting around thinking, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to go somewhere with our families that’s family oriented on a Friday/Saturday night, or even any weeknight and just go play games and just get out of the house?’ ” Hausen said.

Hausen said patrons pay a “table fee” to play any of the 450-plus games for an unlimited time. If a patron doesn’t like the game, they can just exchange it for a different one.

Hausen said the closest game shops to him were more than 20 minutes away and tend to only cater to a small group of people and offer a limited selection of canned sodas and chips.

Credit Serena Summerfield / WJCT News
Coffee bar at Java Game Haus

The Java Game Haus opens at 6 a.m. most mornings and offers a full coffee shop, with a selection from lattes and smoothies to homemade croissants and sandwiches. Hausen said people can check out the store while they’re getting their caffeine fix on their way to work.

“We’ve had a lot of people come in just by themselves for a cup of coffee. And there (might be) two other people at a table playing a game and it looks interesting and they’ll walk over and ask what game that is. They’re invited right into the game and then all of a sudden you have four to six people sitting down that have never met and the commonality was the board game itself,” Hausen said.

Credit Serena Summerfield / WJCT News
"Magic The Gathering" cards at Java Game Haus.

With the exception of some trading cards — like “Magic the Gathering,” “Yu-Gi-Oh!” and “Pokémon” — and customized games like “Dungeons & Dragons,” guests cannot bring their own games as the Java Game Haus adds about 15 of its own each month.

Game gurus walk around and help demo games for those learning to play, and even play a round if necessary.

The grand opening will feature sales on games, table fees and cafe goods.

Intern Serena Summerfield can be reached at, 904.358.6317, or Twitter @sumserfield.

Serena Summerfield is a senior communication student at the University of North Florida with a focus in broadcast journalism.