Tigard board game bar works to survive in the age of COVID-19

Local

The Senet Game Bar opened in downtown Tigard 13 months ago

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The coronavirus pandemic could not have happened at a worse time for a Tigard bar and restaurant that emphasizes getting people together over board games.

Located right along Fanno Creek on Main Street in Tigard, the Senet Game Bar has as its centerpiece a library of board games open for all to play. The bar’s success is closely linked to the willingness of friends and strangers to get together over some food and drink and play board games. Unfortunately, that is not in keeping with the times we are in — so the Senet Board Game Bar is adapting. 

The bar opened in downtown Tigard 13 months ago — a dream brought to life by Derrick Wright who had a passion for good food, drink and board games. The cruel irony came in March, the first month his board game bar broke even financially, shortly before the doors shut because of the virus.

“I figure if you can survive 2020, you just make it through and make it to the other side and that’s what you just have to keep doing,” Wright said. “2020 is just a crazy year.”

Now he’s got the bar back open with one person allowed at a time at the game board library — and the game quarantined for 72 hours after being played. The bar now has paced out tables, tightened up the menu and is negotiating with the city of Tigard to allow people to play board games and drink and eat outside. 

In short, he’s trying everything within his grasp to make it work. 

“The whole concept is to get people in here connecting with each other and I find that board games are a fantastic way to do that,” he said.

This seems like the exact sort of human interaction people could use more of during the shutdown, but it is also an interaction being discouraged to slow the spread of the virus. Wright is trying to make it work safely to keep the virus from crushing the dream of a man, his bar and his board games. 

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