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Librarium Cafe brings butterbeer and board games to Hobart
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Librarium Cafe brings butterbeer and board games to Hobart

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If you're a fan of board games, good coffee, or Harry Potter, there's a reason to rejoice.

The new Librarium Cafe at 310 Main St. in downtown Hobart has more than 100 board games like "Magic: The Gathering," locally roasted coffee from Valparaiso's Dagger Mountain and Chicago's Dark Matter, and butterbeer, a favorite libation of wizards in the Harry Potter books.

Kaydee and Johnny Frostborne opened the 60-seat coffee shop and hangout spot earlier this month, and people have been lining up outside every morning before it opens. They hope to replace Critical Effect, a popular gaming hangout in downtown Hobart that closed eight years ago, and to help revitalize the downtown.

"We want to do what Grindhouse Cafe did in Griffith," Kaydee Frostborne said. "It was the spark that lit the flame downtown. It's improving every day. We want to be a hub, a spark that lights the fire."

The Librarium, which takes its name from a tabletop game, is a combination coffee shop/bakery and game store where people can buy books, card games or multiplayer board games like The Settlers of Catan. The Frostbornes encourage people to come in and play games with friends for hours, or learn how. They're hiring two people to help out with coffee and food so they can provide demos to newbies.

"Friends have complained there's nowhere to sit down and get a cup of coffee downtown without being rushed out of the door," she said. "That's no fault of the restaurants because they're all in high demand. We want a place where the community can sit down and take their time with board games or books."

The Frostbornes also hope to introduce a light food menu with cookies, scones, donuts, quiche, cheese danishes, paninis, and small plates like Johnny Frostborne's peanut butter hummus. He's a culinary school graduate who has cooked for Little Goat in Chicago, Gamba Ristorante in Merrillville and 54 Main Bistro in Hobart.

"It's basically targeted to business professionals so they can grab a quick lunch and leave," Kaydee Frostborne said. "We want produce from local farms, which is why we're waiting until spring to roll it out."

The cafe currently offers a range of coffees, espresso drinks, hot chocolates, as well as its own version of butterbeer, which it often sells out of.

"You don't have to be an expert in coffee," she said. "We're not some indie coffee shop that sticks our nose up in the air. We're not pretentious about coffee at all, but we have some really good coffee." 

Crowds have been a mix of young professionals working on laptops and seniors. The Librarium is also active in the Hobart Open for All campaign.

"Everyone should be made to feel welcome, regardless of age, gender, or sex," she said. "We don't care who you are, you're welcome here."

The Librariaum is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

For more information, call (219) 940-3174 or find the Librarium on Facebook.

* This story has been changed.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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