Randolph Pub Ludique
By Jacques Bérubé

For the Love of Games

They come from a background in entertainment, theatre and culture. With a passion for games, they dreamed of a place where people could gather to play games, interact and learn more about themselves while having a blast.

Joël Gagnon and his three associates, including Normand D'Amour, rolled the dice and bet their future on games by opening the first Randolph Pub Ludique in 2012 in the Latin quarter of St-Denis Street.

"We're living in the right time," says Joël. "In response to computers, there is a huge demand for a different kind of entertainment, and the board game industry has never been as prolific and great as it is now."

We're living in the right time. In response to computers, there is a huge demand for a different kind of entertainment, and the board game industry has never been as prolific and great as it is now. - Joël Gagnon, co-owner
Dominic Poirier and Joël Gagnon are the co-owners of Randolph Pub Ludique.

The Mentor of Game Designers

Board games have evolved dramatically since the days of Monopoly and Risk. Alex Randolph is considered the father of these new modern versions. The first to sign his games, Alex was also the first to give them a precise goal. Several new game creators like Klaus Teuber, who designed the popular Catan, consider him to be their mentor.

"The creators like Randolph want the players to feel a unique experience and strong emotions," says Joël. An example would be Zombicide, a game by Nicolas Raoult. This exciting, cooperative game has players struggling to survive hordes of zombies, and although they're very easy to eliminate, one little mistake and you're gone!

Groups of friends can spend an afternoon or evening playing games at Randolph Pub Ludique.

One Thousand New Releases each Year

The board game industry has never been more dynamic than it is now, with more than 1,000 new products appearing on the market each year. The collection at Randolph Pub Ludique includes 1,500 games.

The most popular games played at Randolph Pub Ludique are card games that take less than 30 minutes to play; party games that are played in very large groups and are usually a lot of fun; and strategic games that last no more than an hour. Of course, another popular item is Osti d’jeu, a game designed and published by Randolph Pub Ludique.

"People don't want games that last more than an hour," says Joël. "At the heart of the Randolph collection, there are a hundred games that are explained in less than five minutes, and that play on average 45 minutes."

Randoph Pub Ludique offers up board and card games to its customers.

Game Sommeliers and Table Service

Customers are never left alone to choose a game at Randolph Pub Ludique. The shop's hosts, who consider themselves to be game sommeliers, go around the tables to ask customers what their tastes are, and then advise them accordingly.

"The host is not only there to explain the rules, but also to enliven the tables for people to interact with each other, with him and with the game," says Dominic Poirier, manager of Randolph Pub, Latin Quarter.

Joël adds: "The hosts are often comedians or students of cultural studies and are fundamentally very, very social. Being passionate about games is important, but less than having people skills."

Randolph Pub Ludique has games for people of all ages.

Randolph Setting up his Game

In addition to its pubs in the Latin Quarter, Rosemont and de Castelnau Streeet in Villeray, Randolph Pub Ludique offers several game services like Randolph Home, gaming entertainment for special occasions like birthdays; Randolph Office for training sessions or team-building; and the Caravan of Fun for events in public libraries, neighbourhood festivals and campsites.

Joël says, "Whenever there is potential for fun, Randolph feels up to the challenge."

The hosts at Randolph Pub Ludique help customers discover the pleasures of new board games in a friendly, stimulating and interactive environment.
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