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Photo courtesy Ahmad Bahay

Nintendo-themed Café set to open in Calgary

By Troy Hasselman, February 8 2019 —

Cafés are usually seen as a quiet place to sit down with a book, study for an upcoming exam or grab a quick coffee on the way to work. While you could still do these things at the upcoming Super Smash Café, you’ll also have a lot of other options.

The Super Smash Café is a Nintendo-themed spot where guests can have a cup of coffee, some food and play a round of one of their favourite games — Super Mario Bros., Mario Kart and, of course, Super Smash Bros.

“The general concept of the café is to bring family and friends together and have an interactive game night together rather than being separated,” says café co-founder and U of C graduate Ahmad Bahay. “What we offer is a Nintendo feel. We’ll have TVs and consoles lined up all over the walls, we’ll have retro games and new stuff. There’ll be tournaments and board games. It’s also a traditional café so we’ll have coffee items, sweets, crepes — you name it, we’ll probably have it.”

The idea for the café comes from game nights that Bahay and his business partner, current U of C student Mohammed Chybli, would have with family and friends.

“This is something we’ve been doing for the last decade, we’ll have a few cousins and friends over on a Saturday night once or twice a month,” Bahay says. “We’ve been doing it so long that we thought, ‘Hey, why don’t we introduce Calgary to this?’ ”

The coffee will be locally sourced from the Fratello Coffee Roasters, who have worked closely with the café. The food is inspired by Bahay’s and Chybli’s family backgrounds in baking.

“Our families were in the baking industries in the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s. Even now, they still like to get together and talk about their baking days so everything baking-wise is covered by 30-plus years of family experience,” says Bahay.

The ultimate goal of the café is to bring people together.

“It doesn’t matter how busy you are during the week, you’ll find on a Friday or Saturday night that you’ll wanna just sit down, forget about your problems and reconnect with your child side,” Bahay says. “I hope people come by, check it out, say hi and if they think they can beat us at Smash, give it a shot.”

The café is currently in the middle of construction and is set to open in four to six weeks, according to Bahay. It will be located near the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology at 1240 16 Ave. N.W. The café can be found on Instagram at @SuperSmashCafe and will launch its website soon.

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