Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
April 21, 2024

Check out No Land Beyond, Baltimore's first board game bar

By LEELA GEBO | April 5, 2023

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COURTESY OF LEELA GEBO

For $5 a person, you and your group can check out as many games as you want from the No Land Beyond game library. 

Over the past three years, my roommates and I have gone through a lot of game phases. We spent many hours during our quarantined sophomore year playing Werewolf, our junior year was defined by games of chess around our dining table and we consistently play Codenames (my personal favorite) whenever we have other people over. 

While these games are always going to be crowd-pleasers, we recently found ourselves wanting to branch out. The problem is that board games are expensive. This is why we found ourselves at No Land Beyond this past week. 

No Land Beyond is a bar, restaurant and board game cafe, the first of its kind in Baltimore! Located in Old Goucher, it took only 10 minutes in a Blue Jay Shuttle before arriving at the cozy spot. It was easy to spot the beautiful, arched entryway: the brick building was strung with string lights and was well-lit on the quiet street. 

At first glance, the interior looked almost like a normal bar: groups of friends were crowded around booths, engaged in animated conversation; the bartender was explaining the various craft cocktail offerings to patrons; and guests chatted with each other as they made their way to and from tables. 

There weren’t normal bar conversations, however; instead of swapping stories and gossip, the laughs and boos coming from every group came from the board games each table crowded around. 

Eager to pick out our own game, we headed to the extensive board game library as soon as we claimed a booth. For $5 each, we were able to check out as many games as we wanted. There were a myriad of options; from risk to Monopoly to Bananagrams to Clue, just about any game imaginable was in the library. What I was more intrigued by, however, was all the games I had never seen before. It seemed as though there was a board game for every topic, occasion, number of players and length of time. 

After consulting with the No Land Beyond employee working at the library, we chose three games: Pandemic, Jumanji and the Worst-Case Scenario Survival Game. It turned out that this was optimistic; we only had time to get through Pandemic before No Land Beyond closed at 10 p.m. 

COURTESY OF LEELA GEBO

Despite the fact that we all have far too much experience with pandemics, my friends and I had a difficult time controlling the fictional viruses on the board. Each of us held a different “role” in the pandemic-response team, and we had to work together to move around the world map, which was the game board, in order to cure outbreaks in cities across the world. 

As we played, we were interrupted only by the laughter and friendly taunting from the animated group of gamers in the booth behind us. These interruptions reminded us of all the other possible games there are to play at No Land Beyond.

For those who know what game they want to play ahead of time, check out No Land Beyond’s schedule of events to make sure you don’t miss out on one of the game-based theme nights. It’s not only board games, either! On April 13, for instance, there is going to be a Super Smash Brothers tournament for 18+ gamers.

I definitely recommend No Land Beyond next time you’re looking for a way to spend the afternoon with friends! Personally, I can’t wait to go back and try out a new round of games. 


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