What’s the cost to play games?The game cover is $7 per person. This gets you a guaranteed 3 hours at the table and as many games as you can play in that time! Kids under 10 are $3.50, and those under 3 play free!
Do we need a reservation?We always recommend one! For same day reservations, please call us at 905-523-0739; otherwise, you can use the "Reserve a Table" button at the top of each page to book a table through Tock. You’re always welcome to walk in and see if there’s a table available, but a reservation ensures you’ll get your full 3 hours of games in and won’t leave disappointed!
Can we stay longer than 3 hours?If it’s quiet at the café, and we don’t have a reservation that needs the table after your group, you’re always welcome to stay longer (for no additional charge). We’ll keep you updated while you’re here and let you know whether extra time is a possibility. We can’t guarantee longer than 3 hours, however, and we do not take back-to-back bookings for the same group.
What happens if we’re late for our reservation?We’ll hold the table for 15 minutes. After that, if we haven’t heard from you, we may give the table to another group. If you’re running late, please give us a call at 905-523-0739 so we know to keep holding the table for you.
Can we bring a big group in to play games?We love hosting big groups, and have lots of great games for many players! Sometimes it takes a bit more coordination to get a table big enough for everyone to play at, though. If you’re thinking of bringing in a group of 9 or more people, please send us a message through the Contact form or give us a call to make the reservation. (An automatic 18% gratuity is applied for groups of 9 or more.)
Do you host birthday parties or other special events?Yes! If you’re interested in having your party or event here, please reach out through the Contact form or give us a call. We offer large group and private bookings, and can host groups of up to 40 people. We’ll work with you to figure out what the best option will be for your particular event!
What game should we play? Can you teach us?Great questions! Our library currently has over 900 different games to play, and we would love to help you find a new (or old) favourite. Steven, Megan, or one of our wonderful staff members will be happy to locate the game you’re looking for, or make some recommendations if you’d like to learn something new! And we love teaching games! We don’t know the rules to all the games in our library, but we’re happy to teach you the ones that we know (and we’re pretty practiced with reading rulebooks for ones that we don’t).
Who We Are
Welcome to The Bard and Bear! We are so happy to have you.
We are Steven and Megan Edmonds, owners and operators of your downtown board game café. We are life-long board game lovers and second-generation D&D players. It has been our dream to open a games café for many years, and we are excited to be in our third year in the wonderful James Street North neighbourhood!
At The Bard and Bear, we encourage creativity and foster storytelling. We believe that the best things come from people working together. We're here to bring people together at the table, over good food and good games.
Steven has been playing games his entire life, and has been active in the Hamilton board game scene since he moved to the city in 2014. Before that, he worked as a camp counselor and leadership trainer, a producer for the CBC, and even spent time working on an alpaca farm.
His favorite games are Lords of Waterdeep, Hive, and Power Grid. He's just started DMing his second long-term D&D campaign, after retiring his beloved Warforged Paladin.
Megan has been playing board games with her family since Settlers of Catan called them "soldiers" instead of "knights" — and she gets the credit for introducing modern board games to Steven! She’s also known in some circles as Dr. Suttie, having spent 6 years teaching and researching at McMaster before defending her PhD on fantasy literature in September 2021. (You can buy her book, if you're looking for an academic take on fantasy school stories!)
Her favourite games are Castles of Burgundy, Bohnanza, and Farkle. Steven started teaching her Magic: the Gathering as a pandemic hobby, and now she has five Commander decks. Bant is best, baby!
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