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Popular Board Game Cafe Opens on Upper East Side

Popular Board Game Cafe Opens on Upper East Side

Hex & Company has locations in Morningside Heights and Greenwich Village.

Hex & Company opened a third board game cafe, and this time its on the Upper East Side. The popular hot spot opened on Sept. 9 and offers after-school programs in addition to coffee and food services. More than Manhattan’s largest board game cafe, Hex & Company offers summer camp programs and after-school curriculums at its three locations in Morningside Heights, Greenwich Village and, as of September, and now, the Upper East Side.  It also hosts events, tournaments and weekly role-playing games, including the popular Dungeons & Dragons, for people of all ages.

Founder and owner Jon Freeman, Ph.D.,  believes in the power of games to stimulate healthy neurodevelopment and personal growth. Once the director of neuroscience research at a leading clinical research organization, Dr. Freeman opened his first board game cafe in Carroll Gardens in 2011. He designed the after-school programs based on spiral theory, which means that the games are intricate and complex enough to take approximately 2 years to complete. When kids come back to the game a second time, they are able to approach it with a new perspective.

“We know that the skills kids are learning here are transferable to other areas of their life,” acknowledges Dr. Freeman. Playing games in a safe, low-risk environment allows kids not only to hone their critical thinking and problem solving skills, but also to practice their communication and interpersonal skills with peers who share similar interests. As a result, Hex & Company has a high retention rate—many kids stick around for as long as four and five years.

The new Upper East Side location will offer the same experiences as its other stores, from classic and modern card games to tabletop role-play games for all ages. It will also expand its curriculum based on the needs and preferences of its participants. For instance, Dr. Freeman has been able to start a chess club and an all-girls team at the other two Hex & Company locations.

“When kids love what they do,” Dr. Freeman says, “they want to come back.”

For more information about Hex & Company, visit its website.