October schedule of (spooky) events

October is a real favorite over here at House Rules – it’s the beginning of truly  cool weather (three cheers for flannel season), and, of course, it culminates in Halloween! So we’ve got big plans all month long to spread some spooky spirit.

Our schedule of events is below – check out the links to the Facebook event pages to learn more!

Tuesday 10/3: Hocus Pocus screening

Thursday 10/5: Kitchen Witchery herbalism seminar

Wednesday 10/11: What We Do in the Shadows screening

Saturday 10/14: Fury of Dracula game night

Monday 10/16 – Friday 10/20: Nightly Twilight Zone marathon (16, 17, 18, 19, 20)

Saturday 10/21: Betrayal at House on the Hill game night

Tuesday 10/24: Beetlejuice screening

Saturday 10/28: Halloween Party!

All the screenings are free, and we’re getting a projector to show them on. We hope to see you at House Rules for one spectacular and spooky October!

What is Herbalism? Resident healing plant nerd Aviva explains…

Aviva, a community herbalist and owner of Apis Apotheca, works here at the cafe and has been helping us incorporate small bits of herbalism into both the menu and the schedule here and there (her herbal teas are great!).  We thought it would be a good idea for her to give a little explanation for the uninitiated as to just what “Herbalism” is:

“Essentially, herbal medicine is the people’s medicine.  It is a global tradition that is easy to overgeneralize but at its core it is the use of plants to help the body re-discover its natural balance.  Long before Western Allopathic medicine came along (i.e. our current mainstream healthcare system), people relied on plants.  They had no other choice!”

If you’re interested in learning more about herbalism and wellness, come to Aviva’s special Kitchen Witch seminar at House Rules at 5:00 PM on October 5th! Learn more here and buy tickets here, or stop in to the cafe and ask about them. She’s excited to share some hands-on knowledge with our community, and you’ll get to take home the fruits of your labor after the seminar!

New season, new menu!

With cooler weather and colorful leaves comes an almost visceral desire for warmth and comfort. That’s why we’re launching a new fall menu that will cater to both of those things!

Stop in to House Rules starting this Friday September 22nd to get a taste of our new menu. It’ll feature more of all the things that taste best in the fall – grilled cheeses, hot cocoas, mulled cider, soups – everything to make you feel all warm and satisfied in your big comfy sweater. That is, once we get out of these last few weeks of bluebird summer!

Some highlights off the new menu to whet your appetite:

Grilled Pizza: Our house-made tomato butter with Stracciatella (cream-soaked mozzarella) and fresh basil, sandwiched in a focaccia and grilled.

Golden Hot Cocoa: Cocoa with turmeric, honey, and black pepper in milk.

Mulled Cider: Heated and spiced to your desire.

Porridge: Overnight steel-cut oats with cream, dried fruit, and brown sugar.

For Vegans: A toasted couscous cake with roasted veggies.

But the menu isn’t the only thing changing around House Rules – soon we’ll be installing cushioned benches along one wall, so you can really get comfy while you eat and play. And, once the really cool weather hits, we’ll have a stockpile of blankets too!

Carcassone and Castles of Burgundy

If you’re into storming castles, you’re going to love two of the activities we have planned for Princess Bride day this Saturday! We’ll be demoing two great games, Carcassone (12:30-1:30) and Castles of Burgundy (2:00-5:00).

Carcassone is a tile-based board game for 2-5 people. It’s named after a medieval fortified town in Southern France, and players must build out the territory surrounding the city’s famed walls. Connect tiles to build cities, cloisters, fields, and roads, and see who has the most points at the end! Carcassone is very family friendly and great for all ages.

Castles of Burgundy is a more challenging and intricate tile-based board game. You and your friends play as competing 15th century princes from the Loire Valley in central France. Through strategic trading, livestock farming, scientific research, and city building, each player aims to make their estate the most prosperous and prominent. The game has five phases of play, during which players collect victory points to win. Because of the many different ways there are to earn points, this game takes careful thought and planning. But because each game can be so different, it stays exciting and fun every time you play it!


Princess Bride Day full schedule and menu!

The day is almost here! This Saturday 8/12 is Princess Bride day at House Rules.

Come in casual garb or your best Princess Bride costume – we hear that masks are terribly comfortable, and that everyone will be wearing them in the near future.

We’ll begin at 11:00 AM with a nice game of pin Fezzik to the Cliff. Then from 12:30 -1:30 there’ll be a short game demo of Carcassone, where you can try your hand as a farm boy yourself (check out this blog post for a more detailed description). From 1:30-3:00 you can race your friends to the Cliffs of Insanity, and from 2-5 we’ll be demoing castles of Burgundy.

For the grand finale at 5:30, we’ll have a showing of the movie! We have limited space, so remember to call or email us ahead of time to reserve your seats.

The special menu for the day:

MLT ($8): Roast beef, lettuce, & tomato on a ciabatta.

MLT 2 ($6): Mozzerella, lettuce, & tomato on a ciabatta.

The Fezzik ($6): A massive pile of lettuce with cucumbers and tomatoes.

Anybody Want a Peanut (Butter)? ($5): Classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

The Six-Fingered Sandwich ($6): A half-dozen delicate cucumber sandwiches.

Iocane Powder ($4): A 16oz bubbly shrub cocktail (non-alcoholic).

Twu Wuv Frappe ($9): A 16oz frappe (flavor of your choice) with two straws.

Fire Swamp S’mores for 2 ($8): We’ll give you the makings, you toast and build ’em!

GLUTEN FREE BREAD has arrived!

We are proud to offer delicious, fresh, locally sourced GLUTEN freee bread for sandwiches from Our Daily Bread in Chatham, NY! Our celiac staff member Aviva has lamented that there is only one other place in Hudson where one can obtain a good GF sandwich and House Rules Cafe is stepping up to help meet the special diet needs of our community! This seedy wonder grills perfectly for our variety of pressed cheese sandwiches, roast beef, turkey, and as pictured here- tuna 🙂 Stop in and try it for yourself- unlike other more mass produced GF breads, this locally made one does not disappoint!

Morning routines

There’s something very comforting and important about morning rituals, and that’s definitely true at House Rules. I work several of the opening shifts throughout the week, which means that I’m rolling out of bed and into the cafe between 6:00 and 6:30 most mornings. When I mention this to people, I tend to get sympathetic cringes in response – but in the months since we opened I’ve come to prefer the early shifts. What inspired this blog post was actually the realization last night that I was looking forward to getting up and opening the cafe this morning.

Don’t get me wrong, I still have trouble getting myself out of bed some days, but the payoff is good. Going through the morning routine at House Rules is a soothing start to my day. I listen to my favorite morning news show while heating water for coffee and taking stock of the bagels. I turn on all the lights – the way the cafe looks against the backdrop of a gray morning is one of life’s small, inexplicable pleasures. And I’ve discovered that early morning baking is one of the most relaxing things this world has to offer. What better way to start your day than to the smell of coffee beans and brownie batter?



Meet the Staff! Aviva

Aviva is a plant nerd, herb farmer and musician.  She is also a huge fan of Hygge– if you haven’t heard of the term yet, it is Danish/Norwegian for “a form of everyday togetherness”, but also loosely translated to ‘Cozy’.  Board games are Hygge. Coffee is Hygge.  Therefore Aviva likes these things, and likes helping other people access these things, thereby helping the world heal with COZINESS. You can ask her questions about plants too.

Grand Opening!

 Welcome to House Rules! After months of hard work we had our grand opening on Saturday May 13th, and we’re so excited to finally be welcoming the community into our space.

Over the past year, many folks have asked us “what the heck is a board game cafe?” We believe that at its heart, it’s a place for the community to come together, eat delicious food, and play a game or two from our adventurously curated library.

Although this may be your first time hearing the term, board game cafes have been popular throughout Asia since the 90s and have been growing in popularity in North America for the past five years or so. After the founding of Toronto’s Snakes & Lattes in 2010, board game cafes started to pop up in major cities across the U.S. Lately there’s been a visible increase in public interest in tabletop and board games, and this has driven the rise of free-standing cafes dedicated wholly to providing a space for the community to play games.

At House Rules, we have created an inclusive, welcoming community where there’s something to interest everyone. Our library has all the classics as well as some exciting modern games you may have never played before, and to help you get a handle on our collection we’ll be featuring a different game in each of our bi-monthly newsletters.

We have a varied menu with sandwiches, homemade baked goods, coffee, frappes, and all sorts of other great stuff. We also offer bagels in the morning and take-out all day, and in the coming months we’ll be serving beer and wine as well.

At House Rules you can sit, play, and eat for as long as you like. There’s a per-person fee of $5 for access to the games collection, which is included in your bill, and we also offer weekly and monthly memberships for those who just can’t get enough of our games. So we hope that everyone stops in, grabs a table, orders some great food, and plays some fun games!