Feeling nostalgic for the boardgames you grew up with? Trying to find the perfect present for the geek in your life? Look no further. Geeky Teas and Games is your Graceland. The owners describe it as “Cheers for Geeks,” which is AMAZING. Enter just past the Tardis. Your experience level doesn’t matter. You’re home.
The purrprietors of Geeky Teas
You’ll be welcomed by the two store cats in residence: Mr. President and Carlos. Mr. President is a stunning tuxedo with long, intelligent white whiskers. Born to be a store cat, Mr. P runs Geeky Teas with aplomb. He’ll show you through the board games, the puzzles, the pirate’s chest of many-sided gaming dice, and rooms decorated like a castle keep in Game of Thrones. Bring a friend and settle into one of the many booths by the hearth. And have the time of your life!
Need an extra player? Ask Carlos! Carlos is a handsome tabby, more introverted than his coworker Mr. P. Although Carlos likes meeting people, he also likes to take himself off somewhere quiet to recharge. Sound familiar? I know exactly how he feels! Both Carlos and Mr. P are gorgeous, big handsome males with glossy coats and big bright eyes that see everything. Both have spotless white gloves, all the better for keeping the games clean.
The Geeky Teas and Games space
The space is enormous, two stories, with different rooms designed for specific purposes. The room upstairs is decorated like a medieval castle keep, except the walls are lined with diner booths to accommodate more players. Donna designs and decorates the store herself.
Teas, games, and cats. Don’t you wish you had a local watering hole for socializing and gaming with like-minded people and lifelong friends? This is where you belong. I couldn’t wait to meet the mad genius behind this creation!
Mr. P introduced me to Donna, the founder. Donna is a lovely woman, open, welcoming, and friendly. Geeky Teas and Games is a labor of love for her, a dream since 2014, and launched in 2016. What a perfect idea for a store! If Donna has one thing she wants guests to feel, it’s that everyone is welcome. Uber geek? This is your mecca. Only geek curious? Come on by, you’ll be welcomed with open arms!
The teas of Geeky Teas
Mr. P profiled me and took me straight to the tea aisle. Jackpot. Shelves and shelves of loose-leafed teas with names like “Absinthe,” “Boomstick,” “Deadpoolong,” “Bonfire,” African Dream Root,” and many more, including my favorite “The Brew is Out There”. Plenty of whimsical teapots and mugs and strainers to choose from, although I wanted to get them all. I couldn’t pass up the British lemon crème biscuits. They called to me.
While you’re drooling over the tea section, you might notice that you’re standing near a glass-walled room occupied with rescue kittens tearing around a mini-jungle gym of cat trees, scratchers, and toys. You might see them wearing out one of the human cat experts who volunteer to assist in their enrichment and socialization. This is GeeKitties, a cat rescue facility.
GeeKitties: a local cat rescue
Even though GeeKitties is a staff-only space, you can watch the kittens play through wall-to-wall windows. Tad, their volunteer that day, gave them a serious workout with an interactive toy in each arm. The playtime helps with their socialization and brain development. When Tad came out of the kitten room, he looked exhausted, but the kittens weren’t. What’s better than watching kittens have the time of their lives jumping in and out of a Tardis cat tree?
How does GeeKitties factor into Geeky Teas and Games? Well, Donna has been an avid rescuer her entire life, starting when she was a little girl taking in strays. Donna refers to GeeKitties as “micro-small,” but I call BS on that – they manage between 50 – 60 adoptions every year. She works with a local vet tech who does TNR and brings her the kittens. “It’s a business’s responsibility to give back to the community,” Donna explains. “This is my way of helping.”
Carlos and Mr. P were two of the kittens from back in the day, but they never got adopted out. I think they never wanted to leave. I wouldn’t either!
The cat-loving genius behind Geeky Teas and Games
I asked Donna if she knew the 70s game “Bigfoot,” a board game that my brother and I had when we were kids which went the way of the dinosaur. (My brother talks about Bigfoot with the same sadness that you might expect at a relative’s funeral.) Imagine my shock when Donna said “Of course I know it. Let me check my stock. I’ll let you have it, it’s not exactly in high demand.” Donna has a rich depth and breadth of knowledge about even the most obscure games!
When cats are gamers too
Donna pulled out a jar of cat treats to show me what Mr. P could do. Both cats jumped up on the store counter, eager to run through a training session. Mr. P slid a Victorian brass counter bell closer with his paw, gathering his gaming tools within easy reach. Donna said “sit”. He sat and rang the bell. He got a treat. Then he slapped her hand with a paw in a congratulatory high five. He stood, reared up like a bear, and rang his bell again. Carlos watched and got treats for audience participation.
I picked my lower jaw up off the floor and told Donna that was the most badass thing ever. Donna laughed and said “Cats are way smarter than dogs. Dogs want to please you. But cats want to be pleased.”
When Mr. President performs tricks for treats, Carlos gets treats for showing up and participating. “Mr. P got all the brains,” Donna confided. “Carlos is dumb as a box of fur. Smooth-brained. But we love him,” she says fondly.
Carlos might not be as clever as his brother, but he makes up for it with a seriously sweet disposition. He purrs both on the inhale AND the exhale. Mr. P looks after him to keep him out of trouble. These two are best buddies.
It was hard saying goodbye to Geeky Teas and Games. If I lived in Burbank, I’d be here all the time! This is the BEST place. If you don’t live in the area, consider a roadtrip! Or join their Discord and engage with the community!