Have you ever wanted a one-stop place for amazing food, local beer, AND great board & card games? Well, it’s now here, and it’s in the heart of Manassas, Virginia.
Crossroads Tabletop Tavern offers a great opportunity for Virginians to come together, eat, drink, and socialize with some good old-fashioned tabletop gaming. The restaurant, bar, and giant gaming room gives patrons a way to experience the fun of gaming with those we know (and some we don’t know but soon will) while having delicious food and drink.
Just this past weekend, the Tavern held its weekend-long grand opening. The celebration included an official ribbon-cutting with the city of Manassas, a cake depicting the history of board games, and even a special appearance by Andy Looney of Looney Labs! Games were played, great food was had, friends were made, and we all loved every minute of it.
I got a chance to sit down with Holy Grail Games & Crossroads Tabletop Tavern owner John Hornberger, to talk about the Tavern itself, the menu, and all of the great games.
PCU: Where did the idea for Crossroads Tabletop Tavern come from?
John H: I left a PhD program 20 years ago and decided I wanted to have my own game and book store (some day). Board games were becoming more sophisticated and engaging, and I kept hosting game nights, and it never got old for me. I love playing games, but I really love hosting, and being a facilitator for so much fun and positive energy is what I envisioned, and, so far, what I am seeing.
PCU: That’s actually pretty awesome. Now, why choose Old Town Manassas?
John H: It chose me. I was looking around Woodbridge, then Malone’s was free and I loved it, so I had agreed to terms with them until they signed someone else, then 9412 Main St became available. If it weren’t Old Town, I may not have been interested. I LOVE historical settings, and feel honored to occupy such a conspicuous spot in such an historic town. Plus it makes sense for business.
PCU: Business aside, the food here is SO good! How did you come up with your menu?
John H: A few parameters: keep it simple, and, since it’s a tavern, don’t violate expectations people will have about tavern food. Couple that with TWO lead chefs who are both very creative, KNOW THEIR STUFF in the kitchen, and buy into the concept of providing really good food for people there to play games, and you get Crossroads’ tavern food with a twist.
PCU: It’s said that Crossroads has over 1000 games on the wall. That’s gotta be an exaggeration, right?
John H: Go ahead and count them! Our database shows over 1,400, but we are constantly adding, as well as subtracting, and honestly need to do an audit. Maybe next week…
PCU: Does everyone there love games & gaming?
To be honest, no, but it’s safe to say that they all like games and gaming more and more all the time. Many came in feeling that way, but some were just hired based on their serving or kitchen skills, and they’re the ones getting more excited about games.
PCU: That’s a LOT of games! Be honest… You guys play them in your spare time, right?
John H: It’s training! The more we know, the better we are at matching games to the people who would love them, and the more we can ease people through that mood-killer that reading the rules can be for so many.
PCU: That’s SO cool! So where can everyone find you online (website, social media, etc.)?
In addition to being a great gaming space, the Tavern offers an amazing menu of delicious food and tasty adult beverages. Being a lover of good food & good beer, I couldn’t say no to sitting down to an incredible ‘Tumbling Tower’ appetizer – a stacked structure of 3 different types of crispy spring rolls: Loaded Potato, Buffalo Chicken Dip, and Jalapeño Popper. There are NINE of these in all — three of each type — and they are amazing! These will seriously be one of my go-to items whenever I go to the Tavern. I also got what the Tavern calls an ‘Ancient Dragon Burger’. A spicy burger, topped with peppered and caramelized onions. So delicious! Their drinks are no slouch either. The “apothecary” (the bar) has a huge tap line, where the Tavern will have SIXTEEN different local craft-brew beers, as well as some very cool cocktails with geek-centric names like Health Potion, Mana Potion, Dragon’s Breath, and more.
But I digress. You didn’t come here to read about me stuffing my face. This is about the games, and the fact that we can now play together while enjoying a meal out.
So, imagine if you will, a room where you can pick from a ton of games on their “Wall of A Thousand Games”. There really are over a THOUSAND different games at Crossroads Tabletop Tavern. Some of these games even date back to the early 1900s! There are, of course, some more current games, but it’s most likely going to be some of these esoteric titles that will keep me coming back. It was at Crossroads, in fact, that I played my first ever game of Munchkin (and of course lost), and the Firefly version of Fluxx (yep, that’s a thing). If I had my way, I would be back there every week, trying out a game I’ve never played before. There are really that many.
So, if you find yourself in Manassas, Virginia with some time to kill and some friends to hang out with, head on over to Crossroads Tabletop Tavern. If your experience is anything like mine, you’ll love it. With all of these awesome games, their incredible food and drink, and a fun community atmosphere, it goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that Crossroads Tabletop Tavern is the best game in town!
Crossroads Tabletop Tavern is located in the heart of Old Town Manassas, at:
9412 Main Street
Manassas, VA 20110