Albuquerque board game cafe back open for business with new COVID safe practices

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A popular Albuquerque board game cafe is back open. Empire Board Game Library has to come up with some new ways for people to show up and play safely in what is usually a very hands-on activity.

The board game library opened last Friday and the owner says safety measures start before players even pick out a game to play. Right when they walk in the door, customers will be asked to wash their hands before they are seated at a table for play.

Players will be required to use a mobile game menu to select what game they want to play. Once they are done playing they have to disinfect the game and pieces with materials provided by the store. After that the staff will disinfect the games a second time, then the used games will be put away for at least 24 hours.

“We have multiple copies of several of the games so we have a huge selection of games and it gives us the ability to play it safe quarantine the games and make sure they are disinfected before they come back out. I think there is just not a lot going on in Nob hill so I’m glad to be able to get empire back open so that there is something to do,” says Owner Rory Veronda.

They’ve also reduced the number of tables in the cafe and have placed them six feet apart, with hand sanitizer at every table. Many of the people said they would be open to hanging out at the board game library.

“I would definitely go in and give it a shot but of course being super careful as well,” says Roberto Lara. Some said they are still playing it safe. “At this time I’m really trying to social distance. So that I’m trying to do my part to keep everybody safe,” says Alisa Valdez.

Players are asked to keep their masks on at all times unless they are eating or drinking. For those not comfortable going inside the store, they also sell games and offer curbside pick-up.

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