A new Paddington venue aims to get people off their mobile devices and talking IRL (in real life).
Club Sosay, a board game cafe-bar, opened on Saturday in the space vacated by Deano's Wine Bar.
It's the brainchild of chartered accountant Debbie Seipel, who opened the cafe with business partner Angela Brown.
"Even when people socialise they are on their devices. We've lost the art of conversation," Seipel says.
"We wanted to create a community-focused space where people could meet and connect and improve their conversational skills. It's a different way to socialise that doesn't just involve going out and getting drunk or trying to talk in a noisy bar."
There are more than 250 games to choose from, from childhood favourites such as Monopoly, Mousetrap and Snakes and Ladders, to more contemporary games, with staff on hand to explain the rules.
Seipel says the cafe is also family friendly, with plenty of games for kids, too.
"We want to be inclusive. If you're on your own, we'll direct you to a 'conversation table' where you can join a game or just have a chat."
Gamers are welcome to just play games (cover charge of $5.50) or stay a while and eat. There's a menu of simple snacks such as corn chips, mugs of soup, a cheese platter and southern fried chicken. Chef Edgardo Pacheco's South American specialities include empanadas or salchipapas – a Peruvian dish of chorizo, potato and house-made sauce.
A concise wine list offers six whites and six reds, all available by the glass, plus 4 Pines and Stone and Wood beer and cider. Segafredo coffee, hot chocolate, a range of teas and softdrinks are also available.
A second venue is opening soon in St Lucia, with plans to expand to the Sunshine Coast and interstate.
Open Mon-Fri 11am-late; Sat-Sun 10am-late.
2 Latrobe Terrace (corner Given Terrace), clubsosay.com