Sink a Battleship; Down a Mocha

Inside Undergrounds Coffeehaus (2743 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale), Aileen Liptak, one of the shop’s two proprietors, is giggling with some regulars. The crowd is familiar and its faces are relaxed, but then they should be – Aileen has been toting this cast of mug-swigging addicts with her for years, ever since her early days working the grind as a hired hand at (the now-defunct) Archives. Six years and a couple coffee shops later, Aileen has opened her own café and managed to brew the perfect blend of local art, vintage décor, and great quality joe that makes her location like a second home.

Now the regular crowd is branching into a flourishing family tree of new faces mixed with old, a fact proven every Thursday on Board Game Night. “It usually starts with Scrabble,” says Aileen, “but the boys, they like to play Risk or” -- rolling her eyes -- “Axis & Allies.” The event has grown cultishly popular – and really, how could it not? Where else can you snag a pick-up game of Trivial Pursuit (“Totally ´80s Edition”) with a welcoming congregation of strangers, while snacking on homemade cookies and fresh-from-the-oven tater tots? Games are torn from their box-homes around 7:30 p.m. The games are free, but the coffee shop is cash only, so give those credit cards a rest. Call 954-630-1900.
Thursdays, 2007

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Jamie Laughlin