The Run Down

For this guide, we're combing good food, music, and board games all into one wonderful evening. You start at a 40+ year old French bistro for crepes, pate and frites, then head next door to an even older record store where you'll browse vinyl records, and finally, you'll spend the rest of the night with one of the largest collection of board games at your disposal. Here are the details.

1. French Comfort Food @ La Creperie

2. Browse Records @ Gramaphone

3. Board Games @ Bonus Round Game Cafe

1. La Creperie

When you visit La Creperie, there’s a certain vibe to the place. It feels like an early 20th century French art noveau poster come to life. You know, those vintage posters of a French dancer in front of the Moulin Rouge. It’s romantic, it’s bohemian, and it’s homey. When I mean homey, I mean literally homey. The owner lives upstairs in the same place he’s lived for the 40+ years he’s been running the place.

When you walk in there are two sections of the restaurant. This is the front of the restaurant right as you enter. The walls are adorned with noveau art wall paper, there’s French jazz music in the background, and red lights help set the mood.

Everyone here seemed to be on a date, and I can understand why. After learning about how long this place has been open, it makes you wonder how many first dates have taken place between these walls.

There’s an intimate little  back room with murals of the French country side. A less crowded and quieter experience in the back.

Onto the food itself. This isn’t fancy fine dining, but what more do you need other than a smorgasbord of pate, a toasted ham and cheese croque with a fried egg on top, and a flan crepe. Bon apetit.

2. Gramaphone Records

After indulging on crepes and listening to French jazz music, head next door to a place that’s been operating even longer than La Creperie. I’m talking about Gramaphone Records which has been selling records since 1969.

In its early days, this record shop sold jazz and blues records, but as times have changed, so did a lot of its inventory. Today, it’s the Chicago mecca for those with a love for electronic, dubstep, and house music. From time to time they’ll host DJ sets and parties here too.

They’ve got turntables set up at different places across the store where you can sample music. Just grab a record and start listening. If the only thing you’ve used to play music is Spotify, then ask one of the clerks for help and they’ll set you up on the turntables.

3. Bonus Round Game Cafe

We’ve got one last place in the guide. We’re ending things with a late night gaming session a few blocks away. We’re at Bonus Round Game Cafe, which is a full service cafe with a huge library of board games to play. Here are some notes to get us going.

– Open until midnight every day (except Tuesday when it’s closed)
– To access their library of games, there’s a $5/person game pass fee
– Food, coffee, beer are available to purchaseThe inside looks like any neighborhood coffee shop, except at this cafe, you have a wall full of games. It’s a board game library even the most hard core of board gamers would envy.Here’s how it works. A hostess will get you to your table and a waiter will come by who not only will serve you food and drinks, but will be a game host of sorts. They’ll recommend board games, bring them over to you, explain all the, and helping resolve disputes as you play. So instead of accusing your friend of cheating, just have the waiter come by and be the judge, jury, and executioner on your behalf. You’re probably already full from eating earlier, but there’s always room for dessert. They’ve got pies from Bang Bang Pie shop and craft root beer floats that will give you the sugar jolt you need to power through a multi-hour gaming sesh. In terms of games, our waitress recommended this game called Carcassonne. It was a blast to play, but the coolest thing about this whole experience was that we probably would have never given it a shot if our waitress didn’t introduce this to us. Having a game concierge opened us to a whole new world of games besides the normal uber popular games we all love. Keep gaming and find that new board game obsession.