Photos by Cindy Cui / Photo Editor
University is a time of upheaval and change, a time where many will seek out and foster friendships. Waypoint Games & Café (1044 King St. W.) offers a warm and inviting space to spend hours chatting with your friends over games and snacks. Store owner Vince D’Agostino is an MBA graduate from McMaster. He recalled how difficult it can be to make friends in university.
“[Students are] looking for a place where you can get to know people, it’s a new world for you, especially if you’re an undergrad. And I think a lot of people are kind of jaded with going out to the bar, or the club … they want something a little bit more involved, a little bit more social . . . We kind of fit that niche of giving people a way to get social, get out, get engaged [and to] get to know their friends or community,” said D’Agostino.
“. . . We kind of fit that niche of giving people a way to get social, get out, get engaged [and to] get to know their friends or community,”
It can be difficult to get out and socialize if money is tight. Many social activities, like going out for dinner or seeing a movie, can be pricey. Waypoint has a flat cost of $5, which lets you play as many games as you like for as long as you want. It’s an easy and affordable way to get to know your community, now conveniently located in Westdale Village.
The decision to open up in Westdale was definitely beneficial, as Waypoint is packed with students most nights of the week. The café is an extremely popular hangout spot for students, and it’s easy to see why. Waypoint has all of the appeal of a coffee shop, while also having Mouse Trap, Operation, and soon, alcohol. They have a wide range of coffee, pop, juice and even Red Bull. The hot chocolate in particular is delicious. Coming soon, they will offer snacks, beer and cider.
A board game café like Waypoint is a great option when you’re first getting to know people; it can make it easier to maintain a conversation with them by creating a shared experience to bond over — nothing brings people together quite like the shared agony of knocking over your Jenga tower. On the other hand, nothing tests how much your close friends love you quite like a game of Monopoly.
Westdale has a number of restaurants and coffee shops and even a movie theatre, but there isn’t anything quite like Waypoint. Waypoint was previously located in Dundas, but D’Agostino noticed that most of their clientele were students from McMaster that were looking for somewhere new to socialize.
“[W]e were on a bit of a short term lease in Dundas. And we figured, when that lease came up, we should look for something that’s more accessible to the Mac crowd. And it really worked out. We got a spot, kind of in the heart of Westdale . . . the majority of our business comes from the McMaster community,” said D’Agostino.
So why the name Waypoint? In Google Maps, if you want to remember a location, you drop a pin on that location. That pin is called a waypoint.
“[W]e wanted to kind of identify ourselves as a place to remember. It’s a place that you want to come back to, a place you want to make sure that you mark as somewhere that has meaning to you. Long term down the road if there’s more of our stores, that kind of plays into [the] idea that we’re all over the map,” said D’Agostino.
“[W]e wanted to kind of identify ourselves as a place to remember. It’s a place that you want to come back to, a place you want to make sure that you mark as somewhere that has meaning to you. Long term down the road if there’s more of our stores, that kind of plays into [the] idea that we’re all over the map,”
Board game cafes are a great way to foster new friendships. Bring your friends, your coworkers, your family or even your date. With over 400 games stacked on the walls, Waypoint has something for everyone, whether you’re looking for something intense, or just want to play Scrabble. Pull up a chair, get a hot chocolate and have a good time.