7 Monks Cafe

Gabriel Salazar and Rashmi Bhat make coffee at 7 Monk's Cafe on Wednesday, May 16, 2018. The cafe serves as a hub for gamers as well as offering food and coffee.

New Braunfels gamers may have been disappointed to hear local gaming café 7 Monks has closed down, but that disappointment was short lived — as Gamers Getaway readies to open next week.

Helping bring true the dream of one of 7 Monks Café’s employees, owner of 7 Monks Café and of Bonjour Texas Rashmi Bhat decided to sell the store and its games to John Barnes, who has been using the merch to ready a hobby store and game lounge.

Bhat will take the extra time and finances to expand Bonjour Texas into an international café, complete with Indian food, pizzas and possibly also Mediterranean food.

“So basically — I don’t know if you know John, he works at the store — he was like, ‘Hey I want to open up my own store, would you consider selling?’ and I said, ‘Sure if we can work things out,’ so we did,” Bhat said. “We started talking about a month ago, and I think the biggest thing was for him to find a space he wanted, and as soon as that happened we were able to get his going in about a week.”

Barnes, a first-time business owner, said owning and operating his own gaming lounge has been a dream of his since he was in high school. 

“I’m not sure if you’re familiar with a town in store called the D-PAD, but they’re kind of like a vintage video game store and they were some friends of mine in high school and they opened a little store in 2006 when we graduated,” Barnes said. “So I’ve been wanting to do it for a very long time.”

Gamers Getaway will be located at 880 S. Business I-35, near the H-E-B on Walnut Avenue, Barnes said. 

“I’ll continue doing the same thing from the game side,” he said. “We’ll be doing card games, tournament nights, Dungeons and Dragons, board games — we’re going to have some vintage video game tournaments, and things of that nature.”

Barnes said he’s had to learn on the fly because he is aiming to get the business open by July 1. 

“We’ve been buying new furniture, got the new location, I’ve been painting it, getting all my distribution accounts ready to rock and roll, just all the behind the scenes (stuff),” he said.

Meanwhile, Bhat said she is looking forward to expanding the menu of Bonjour Texas, especially the Indian food which will be family recipes. The menu should be expanded by the end of July, she said.

“My mom and her friends make all the Indian food, but even though it is ready to eat, it’s all made from scratch,” Bhat said. “We’ll have coffee and a chai latte coming, we’ll have it made in house.” 

The actual store property 7 Monks resides at will be signed off to a new renter, Bhat said. 

“We’re still keeping the name Bonjour Texas, but we’re probably rebranding it as an international café — underneath,” Bhat said. “What would be really cool is if someone isn’t crazy about Indian food, we offer other options — sandwiches or pizza, then the person who wants the Indian food can eat it.”

Hopefully, Gamers Getaway will be as influential a spot in a kids life as D-PAD was in his own, Barnes said. 

“We’re hoping to have a good time and have many kids come out and have a cool place to relax and have a good time,” Barnes said.

For more information about Bonjour Texas, visit https://www.bonjourtexas.com.

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